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Alexis Bechman

Stories by Alexis

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Officials prepare for fire season

Dry conditions have already resulted in six small wildfires

Preparing for the upcoming wildfire season, more than 30 officials met Tuesday morning in Star Valley to discuss how ready northern Gila County is and what still needs to be done.

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Vehicle rollover on 87 results in airlift to Scottsdale

A Valley woman was airlifted Sunday evening after the vehicle she was traveling in was T-boned and flipped on its roof south of Payson.

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Unpopular subdivisions moving ahead

The Payson Town Council last week approved the final plats for two new subdivisions in Payson, one off Tyler Parkway and another just outside of Chaparral Pines.

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Control Road Fire due to untended campfire

An unattended campfire sparked a wildfire east of Tonto Village Sunday afternoon, the first wildfire in the Hellsgate Fire District for the year, alarming residents and fire officials who say it is going to be a very dangerous wildfire season.

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Detention officers fired, arrested for having sex in jail

Two Gila County Sheriff’s Office detention officers were fired last week after they reportedly had sex in the Globe Jail.

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He would not stop threats

A man arrested for harassing his ex-girlfriend the same day a judge put him on probation for threatening the woman now will serve 2.5 years in jail — the maximum sentence under the terms of his plea deal.

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Woman saves her neighbor

Doctors say an 87-year-old Payson man is lucky to be alive after falling while on a walk last week and hitting his head.

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Probation for shoplifting

A Payson woman was sentenced Monday to probation for stealing cosmetics from Walmart.

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Finally: New projects proliferate in Rim Country

Shopping complex in Payson, Tonto Basin getting Dollar General

After years with little new construction, the walls have quickly gone up on a new shopping center in Payson.

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Mother overcomes addiction

A Mesa woman who nearly lost custody of her children due to a drug addiction proudly declared she was 15 months sober at a sentencing Monday for possession of drug paraphernalia.

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Stole to pay medical bills

A woman that stole thousands from her employer was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to theft.

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Payson dusts off American Gulch plan

Thanks to a grant from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the long-awaited American Gulch project is finally moving forward with a loop trail connecting the Sawmill Crossing to Westerly Road.

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Gentle steeds produce startling results for kids

Dueker Ranch helping special needs children

Ruthy Hodges is learning a new school this year. She recently moved from Payson Elementary School to Julia Randall and like most kids, the move has been exciting, but scary.

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150 days for assault on ex-girlfriend

A man convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, biting her finger and holding her down, was sentenced Monday to probation and five months in jail.

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He calls for help, gets jailed

Two boaters had to be rescued from Roosevelt Lake Saturday, one after their boat started to sink and the other found themselves lost in the middle of the lake.

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Matching drug charges for husband, wife

After her husband was sentenced late last month for smoking marijuana in the Mazatzal Casino parking lot with her, Melissa Marie Clark was sentenced Monday for her part in the tryst.

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Veteran officer takes over as constable

White resigns and McDaniel steps in

After serving six years as Payson Regional Constable, Colt White Wednesday handed the reins over to Tony Ronnie McDaniel.

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Good works, terrible deeds

A man with a lengthy history of public service was sentenced recently for molesting a relative under the age of 15.

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Alcohol fueled domestic violence spiral

A Payson man that admitted drinking fueled his continued abusive behavior toward his wife was sentenced recently to 2.5 years in prison.

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Six-month sentence for cellphone in jail

But only four years on probation for domestic violence

A New Mexico man was sentenced recently to six months in prison after jail staff found he was using a cellphone while in the Gila County Jail in Globe.

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Arrests for heroin sales

A man wanted for drug possession led to the arrest of another man Thursday for supplying drugs to the community, police say.

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‘We’re all accountable’

Grieving family calls for action on drugs

Grieving family and friends on Saturday recalled with tears and joy, regret and aching grief the short, troubled life of a Payson man who struggled with addiction for years before a still unexplained death.

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High winds snuff controlled burn plan

Plans to clean up fuel breaks around Rim Country with several large prescribed burns came to a halt this week due to high winds.

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Sheriff detective’s car crunched in crash

A Gila County Sheriff’s Office detective was struck Tuesday afternoon as she crossed through a Payson intersection.

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Planning for a wildfire catastrophe

Rim Country still at high risk

With northern Gila County at “significant” risk for a wildfire, fire officials from every Rim Country fire district recently helped update a community protection plan, the first update in nearly 10 years.

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Man arrested with stash of meth, 39 guns

Investigators from across northern Arizona converged on a Young property Thursday, arresting a reported local methamphetamine dealer.

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He toted a gun, but it didn’t help

Shot in one incident, then search reveals a bag of pot

A Tonto Basin man shot in the back of the head by a neighbor a number of years ago was found guilty Thursday of marijuana possession. In both cases, his problem stemmed — in part — from the gun he often wore on his hip.