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Alexis Bechman

Stories by Alexis

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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.

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Payson named one of Arizona’s ‘Best Small Towns’

Once again, Payson has been named one of Arizona’s Best Small Towns.

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Spitting on officer results in a year in jail

For spitting on a deputy, a Globe man will spend a year in jail.

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Outage solutions

Officials explore $3 million fix

Payson town officials continue to explore ways to improve the region’s Internet service after the area experienced three Internet and cellphone outages last year.

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Routine traffic stop yields big drug bust

A routine traffic stop Feb. 13 ended with officers uncovering nearly 40 pounds of marijuana hidden in a false compartment of a vehicle.

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Diamondbacks will upgrade Rumsey

After several years of applying, the Diamondbacks have chosen Payson as this year’s grant recipient to improve the fields at Rumsey Park.

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Payson wins award

On Thursday, the town council recognized the budget department for its receipt of an award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

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Payson cops arrest four

They were looking for a fugitive, but although he got away, police arrested four Payson residents on drug charges Saturday night.

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Police disrupt drug sales

Three people were arrested Wednesday night for selling drugs from a home in the neighborhood behind The Home Depot, police say.

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RV catches fire

A 36-foot RV that caught fire coming into Payson Sunday afternoon blocked northbound travel on the Beeline Highway for hours.

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Jury returns guilty verdict

A jury found a Valley man guilty Nov. 12 of assault after hearing two days of testimony, including from his ex-girlfriend, who said she thought she was going to die when Christopher Wooley strangled her in her living room. Wooley was charged with felony aggravated assault-impeding breathing.

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Second chance

He turned his life around so judge gives him a break

A Payson man was placed on probation Tuesday for his first drug conviction per Arizona’s drug offense law that gives first-time offenders a break.

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Controlled burn rattles residents

A towering pillar of smoke alarmed many Payson residents this week, but the U.S. Forest Service says the smoke’s a good thing — rising from a controlled burn on 3,000 acres of brush.

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Hellsgate bills irk residents

Two frustrated Star Valley residents recently spoke out after receiving multiple billing notices from the Hellsgate Fire Department after they called 911 for medical help.

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Homeowners protest neighborhood hunting

Bow hunters too close to houses, say residents

A Pine homeowners’ association says Game and Fish should change the way hunters act within their community before someone gets hurt.

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Payson ponders protection

Payson will discuss updating a wildfire protection plan at a council meeting Thursday as well as some new rules regarding the use of the airport.

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Three Hellsgate firefighters promoted

One has been with the Hellsgate Fire Department as a reserve for five years, another has worked there since 2004 and a third employee was only the second full-time hire for the district in the early ’90s.

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Food drive triumph

30,000 lbs. food, $50,000 cash

It came down to the wire, but the Payson Area Food Drive met this year’s holiday goal to raise 30,000 pounds of food and $50,000 to feed the area’s hungry.

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Prescott bomb threat prompts Payson arrest

A 36-year-old man that reportedly placed a fake bomb on a Prescott government building was arrested in Payson Tuesday with the help of local officers.

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Jury hears domestic violence testimony

Opening arguments in a trial of a Valley man accused of strangling his ex-wife last year in Payson started Thursday.

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Ammo sales case takes another twist

Defense lawyer seeks new trial based on jurors’ statements

The sentencing for a Payson man convicted of fraudulently selling HPR ammunition to a friend was postponed again after his defense counsel presented new information from four jurors and claimed the Gila County Attorney’s Office withheld important evidence.

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Weird break-in shuts down Payson runway

Police arrested a 29-year-old Payson man Sunday night for breaking into a home and eating food out of the fridge.

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Wild highway chase

Tire sticks end pursuit in Star Valley

It took three sets of spike sticks to stop a 32-year-old Whiteriver woman who reportedly led an officer on a 30-mile high-speed chase Saturday night that ended outside of Star Valley.

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Pandora’s Box persists through welter of changes

She collaborated with a florist, an artist and a gallery owner and now Quita Hartfiel is going it alone.