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Alexis Bechman

Stories by Alexis

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La Posada: Masterpiece saved from the wrecking ball

Weekend trip reveals one woman’s bold artistic triumph

Rocking beneath a gold and turquoise stenciled ceiling in front of a warm fire, cocooned by the rumble of trains in the night and the strumming of a guitarist in the lobby, you can easily lose track of your century in Winslow’s La Posada.

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Club donates trees to Green Valley

Walk around the north end of Green Valley Park and you’ll notice three new additions. They aren’t more than bare, thin trunks right now, but give them a few years and they’ll be towering trees, some flush with red leaves in the fall.

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Payson’s fire protection gains could cut insurance costs

Homeowners and business owners may see lower insurance premiums after the Payson Fire Department improved its fire risk rating.

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Wild chase prompts prison for man with long rap sheet

A man who led officers on a 100-mph chase through the woods north of Payson before throwing everything from a tire jack to trash at officers, will spend the next 10.5 years in prison — another lengthy sentence for a man who has already served several.

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Payson faces civil suit from struggle during an arrest

A Payson man’s lawsuit against the town and several police officers for assaulting him during an arrest in 2011, claims the officers’ conduct was not only grossly negligent, but taken with an “evil mind.”

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Costly business mistakes

Chamber session to help block blunders

From opening without a business plan to posting boring posts on Facebook and failing to do basic marketing, several upcoming free seminars will address some of the most common mistakes small-business owners make in Rim Country.

Time Out Thrift Store moving

The Time Out Thrift Store is shaping up to relocate.

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Bridge rebounds

State park visits top 100,000

Tonto Natural Bridge has rebounded from near closure, drawing more than 100,000 visitor this year — a nearly 60 percent increase.

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Jailhouse brawl

Officer resigns after reprimand

A detention officer who let an inmate get under his skin resigned from the Gila County Sheriff’s Office following a brawl in the Globe Jail last year.

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Family struggles with fire impacts

After a fire in a condominium complex, a family is struggling to get back on their feet and asking the community for help.

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Voden murder trial delayed

The trial for a man accused of murdering his neighbor over a barking, loose dog has been pushed back several months.

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Excessive force

Disciplined officer quits

A Gila County detention officer that used excessive force on an inmate quit earlier this month before completing a suspension imposed for his actions.

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Daughter, dad brave Grand Canyon’s rapids

Birthday adventure includes lesson in facing your fears

Curled up on a surprisingly fluffy bed in El Tovar Hotel on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon with a dory and some of North America’s worst rapids awaiting in the canyon below, the anxiety overwhelmed me. So I walked into the black and white tiled bathroom and got into the empty bathtub, like I did when I was a kid.

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Payson fire department cleared to help motorists

The fire department can once again help stranded motorists locked out of their vehicles when a locksmith is unavailable, thanks to council approval.

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Fatal crash closes highway

A 39-year-old Payson man died Saturday afternoon after colliding with a vehicle on State Route 87 in front of True Value — a crash that briefly closed the highway for the landing of a MediVac helicopter.

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Food drive falters, need persists

The communitywide Payson Area Food Drive has not been as successful this year as in the past when of pounds of food poured in, but organizers are hoping one last push will help make up the difference.

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Deputy shoots neighborhood dog as children watch

Officer kills dog after finding dead chickens

It was a grisly death and one that 19 people witnessed, including several children in Young last year.

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Police chase down armed robbery suspect

Dog sniffs out suspect

After a 24-hour manhunt, police Tuesday arrested an armed robbery suspect just blocks from where it all started.

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Police nab robbery suspect

Update at 4 p.m.: Police arrested Daniel Righos, who they suspect robbed the One Stop, in a vacant building south of El Rancho around 3:40 p.m. Tuesday.

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Vandals shatter businesses’ windows

Several businesses were sporting boarded up windows Monday, including Chase Bank, Fletcher’s and Payson Packaging, after a busy weekend.

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Judge affirms stolen ammo case plea

A Gila County Superior Court judge Thursday denied a Payson man’s request to take back a guilty plea for allegedly stealing discarded, scrap ammunition from a local manufacturer.

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Police searching for armed robbery suspect

What started as a slow day at the One Stop abruptly turned into a frightening ordeal Monday afternoon when a masked man robbed the convenience store at gunpoint.

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Several businesses slated to re-open

They are well-known businesses, but when they re-open, you might not recognize them.

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These rescuers left hanging

Deputies, volunteers gain vital certification

Hovering over Shoofly, Bill Pitterle willingly threw himself off a helicopter skid. Dangling by a rope over the rocky terrain and several low, ruin walls, the only thing remaining from its once Indian inhabitants, Pitterle unlocked his rappel device and slowly descended, careful not to spin his body below the whizzing rotor blades.

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Family turns terrible grief into lifesaving generosity

Hellsgate distributes free ATV helmets

After their son died in an ATV accident last year just east of Payson, a Valley family found a way to both honor his memory and hopefully, prevent future tragedies.

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Riddle leaves county attorney’s office

An attorney with the Gila County Attorney’s Office has left the office.

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Fire department faces rise in calls

Medical cases account for 70 percent – fires just 2 percent

With the fire department’s call volume rising steadily, Payson’s new fire chief is exploring creative ways to handle more calls without a budget boost.

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Woman sentenced to prison for aggravated DUI

A woman battling a lifelong drug addiction is going to prison after she continued to drive impaired despite repeated attempts at rehab.

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Payson burglars busted after haphazard spree

Petra Luh was sleeping on a tiny couch in Granny’s Attic New Year’s Eve after a snowstorm blocked her from getting home. At 3 a.m., she awoke when the lights went out in the multi-room antique store off Highway 260. In the dark, she heard a metallic sound. She figured it was just the storm.

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Man who murdered mother, now sentenced for abuse

Child abuse nets 2.5-year prison term

A man that says he murdered his mother when he was a teen because she abused him, is heading back to prison after beating his own children.

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Plea recanted in scrap ammo case

Maker says selling unsafe ammunition endangered public

A Payson man who admitted taking scrap ammunition from his employer and selling it, asked a judge Monday to recant his guilty plea and set a trial date after the state reportedly didn’t give him the plea deal he expected.

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Today is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

With plenty of negative press about law enforcement nationally, our local police chief is asking residents to show support for officers Friday during National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (LEAD).

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Fundraiser Sunday in Pine for family who lost infant son

The community has rallied behind a local family with a fundraiser planned this weekend in Pine after they unexpectedly lost their infant son.

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‘Crime of passion’ earns prison term for estranged husband

A “crime of passion” landed a 33-year-old man in prison for 1.5 years.

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Tearful mother

Distraught masseuse pulled a gun, now she’s headed to prison

Despite a last-minute plea to stay with her baby a few more weeks, a former Payson massage therapist went to prison Monday after pleading guilty to aggravated assault.

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Code update allows expanded construction

Change effective townwide, not just Heather Circle area

A construction code amendment that drew considerable public outcry at a recent Planning and Zoning Commission meeting passed through the town council without so much as a peep.

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Town drafts agreement for Rim Ranch development

Industrial park will still go through planning, zoning hearings

Town staff is in the midst of hammering out a pre-annexation development agreement with the future owner of the Rim Ranch (also known as Fox Farm) for the site of a reported ammunition manufacturing facility.

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Condo fire costs couple everything

Pet Chihuahua perishes in blaze

A young couple is picking up the pieces after losing everything, including their dog, in a devastating fire early Monday morning.

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Crashing through a winter wonderland

Storm dumps a foot of snow, snarling traffic, delighting visitors

Just before noon Wednesday, the police scanner in Payson sprung to life with officers around Rim Country radioing in call after call of slide-offs and vehicles slip-sliding into each other.

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Fire destroys Payson condo unit; cause under investigation

Freezing conditions hinder firefighters

Battling below freezing temperatures and a raging hot fire, firefighters had their hands full with a blaze in the Forest Hills Condominiums early Monday morning.

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Alleged brawl ends with three arrests

One man claims police harassment

Three Payson men are facing charges after a drunken brawl ended with a snapped telephone pole and a crashed car.

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Sentence delayed for abuser

Man convicted for beating wife, children

A man facing a prison sentence for abusing his wife and children asked a judge for more time Monday to present his case.

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‘Suspicious’ fire

Hellsgate and Payson firefighters extinguished a small, but rather suspicious vehicle fire Tuesday afternoon in Star Valley.

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Float ready for Fiesta Bowl Parade

After nearly four months of work, the Town of Payson will unveil its float at Saturday’s Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix.

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Goodbye to Ed, Tim

Councilor, town attorney at one last meeting

The council said goodbye last week to two long-standing town figures as it welcomed a new town councilor and staff just in time for the New Year.

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Probation for truck theft — one last break

Two years after stealing a pickup for a joyride, a Payson man wound up on probation after his sentencing on Monday.

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Judge sends ‘mean, violent drunk’ to prison

Calling him a “mean, violent drunk,” Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill on Monday sent Brian Apps to prison for 3.5 years for beating and torturing his wife.

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New code officer enforcing sign ordinance

If you are a business owner, you may have already met Jason Larson, the town’s new code compliance specialist tasked with enforcing everything from business signage to overgrown yards.

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Squirrel suspected in service outage

Technology blackout drives Rim Country residents nuts

All it took was one break and most of Rim Country was without phone, TV and Internet service for much of Tuesday, crippling businesses and leaving subscribers wondering how this could happen.

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Payson still needs town attorney

The search for a new town attorney has hit a roadblock once again.