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Alexis Bechman

Stories by Alexis

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Author has surprising flare for mayhem

Payson’s Renee Wetherill does not look like the kind of woman who would pen a provocative adventures novel about terrorism.

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Payson resumes road maintenance after 8-year lapse

Thanks to voter approval of the county’s half-cent transportation excise tax, Payson can finally resume routine road maintenance.

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Hellsgate opts to finish new fire station

Facing mounting costs, the Hellsgate Fire District board Wednesday night went ahead with plans to build a new fire station in Tonto Village, but not the one they originally planned.

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Heroin busts

Overdose, citizen tip, lead to four arrests

Payson Police rushed to an apartment building last week to save a heroin overdose victim.

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Camp Tontozona’s economic impact a touchdown

It is as close to hosting a Super Bowl as Rim Country will likely ever come.

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Firefighters head to California

More than a dozen Gila County firefighters are helping battle growing wildfires in northern California.

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Young residents busted for growing pot

Pair had medical marijuana cards

Two Young residents were arrested Friday evening for growing marijuana at a home in the remote community southeast of Payson, according to the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.

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Man cited for animal cruelty

A Valley man was cited for leaving his dog unattended in a vehicle for more than 30 minutes, according to police.

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Voden gets 17 years

Judge imposes maximum term saying he sees no signs of remorse

“May God have mercy on your soul because I am not sure I can give it to you.”

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Signs of trouble ahead for Payson

Town once more takes of vexing issue of signage

The No. 1 complaint at town hall remains business owners’ frustration with Payson’s sign ordinance: Specifically those hanging signs from a metal A-frame base put by the highway to attract business off the street.

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ER delays mount

Heavy volume, new system nets 7-hour waits at Banner Payson

At midnight Friday, Banner Health officially took over the Payson hospital from Community Health Services. A new computer medical record keeping system came online and staff had not a moment to adjust.

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Child on bike runs into car

A 10-year-old boy escaped serious injury Thursday afternoon after riding his bicycle into the side of a pickup truck, police say.

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He’s in shock

A Pine man watched his classic pickup go up in flames Wednesday morning after it unexpectedly caught fire.

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New rules for living in RVs

Payson may let folks visit in parked RVs

Need a place to put Aunt Eunice when she comes to visit for a week?

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Getting creative with a brew or two

We dipped our brushes in various colors — chromium oxide green, burnt umber, cadmium orange, cerulean blue and other fanciful names for acrylics.

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Drugs a ‘tremendous challenge’

Despite an overall drop in the crime rate last year, Police Chief Don Engler said drugs remain a persistent problem in the community.

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Local RadioShack adds to inventory

If you have not been in Payson’s RadioShack recently you are in for a few surprises.

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Two decades protecting Payson

After 22 years with the Payson Police Department — the only law enforcement agency he worked for — Patrol Sgt. Less Barr is retiring.

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New gym opens at industrial airpark

Payson has a new fitness choice and it’s taking a page from old-school gyms.

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Money to design Lion Springs section in ADOT’s 5-year plan

Several local roadway projects have made their way onto the Arizona Department of Transportation’s five-year plan.

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Payson woman gives voice to big dreams

Beating out thousands of other singers, a local hairdresser made it through the first rounds of auditions for The Voice.

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Payson scrambles to find enough 911 dispatchers

“It is often the worse call they’ll make on the worst day of their life,” said Alison Murphy, Payson Police Department dispatch supervisor.

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Hellsgate struggles as cost of station doubles

Fire district needs $400,000 more

It was dubbed a simple project that would cost $375,000 and take a year to build. After burning through much of that money, the Hellsgate Fire District is the proud owner of a concrete slab.

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Community Garden donates produce to area food banks

This year’s bountiful harvest at the Payson’s Community Garden will yield fresh produce not only for gardeners, but some of the community’s needy.

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Business booming

Town hails new firms, rising sales

Payson’s economic director Bobby Davis was buzzing with excitement last week as he delivered an update to the council on the area’s growth.

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Archaeologists probe ancient habitation at university site

Tucked in under a granite monolith on a ridge overlooking the Granite Dells, a team of archaeologists from the Valley last week removed buckets of dirt and screened the rubble for clues to a vanished past — in the process clearing away a key roadblock to Payson’s future.

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Banner Alzheimer’s Institute reaches out to Rim Country

An annual brain/mind check should become as routine as any other aspect of a yearly physical.

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Deputies chase, catch man on stolen ATV

Sheriff deputies arrested a Pine man Sunday after he reportedly fled on a stolen off-road vehicle.

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Payson’s doing the chicken dance

Backyard hens around Payson did the chicken dance last week with news the town council may consider lessening restrictions.

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Glow run lights up night at park

There are mud runs, turkey trots, triathlons and now something a little more colorful.

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Dental practice has new owner

From hygienist to dental practice owner, Kristin Wade has made some huge career leaps in the past decade.

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Town spends $2,000 for intersection property

The Town of Payson is the owner of the final sliver of the intersection of Granite Dells and Mud Springs roads.

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Young bear spotted by several in Pine

Arizona Game and Fish Department officers are on the lookout for a curious bear in Pine they worry may have decided to call the community home.

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Ammo factory drops plans to expand

Plans to build an industrial park at the end of the scenic Granite Dells Road, including an ammunition production facility, have been shot down.

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Man charged with stalking ex-girlfriend

High-tech devices used to eavesdrop, monitor ex’s location

A man hung up on love could not hang up the listening or tracking devices on his ex-girlfriend despite her pleas to stay away, police say.

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Payson agrees to manage Houston Mesa Fire District

After its fire chief left to become a sheriff’s deputy, the Houston Mesa Fire District looked to Payson for help.

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A day in a fire lookout tower on the Mogollon Rim

Woman looks over forest from fire tower

As a Hotshot crew cuts a line around a lightning-caused fire on the Tonto National Forest near Lost Spring, storm clouds brew on the horizon.

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Man and his dog fall to their deaths

A Tucson man with a passion for rock climbing and the outdoors died Thursday when he fell off a cliff in Chevelon Canyon along with his blind dog.

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Few details on bomb-bearing Hummer

Officials are giving out few details on the Hummer that wrecked in Strawberry July 11 with a homemade bomb strapped to the gas tank.

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Storm pummels parts of Payson

Town gets more than an inch of rain over weekend

Several streets throughout Payson, including portions of the Beeline Highway, were briefly flooded Friday when a storm dumped nearly an inch of rain. From Thursday through Saturday, the Payson area received 1.34 inches.

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Ducey appoints Chambers to Gila County Superior Court

After 23 years with the Gila County Attorney’s Office, Bryan Chambers will no longer sit before the bench, but on it after Governor Doug Ducey Tuesday appointed him Division I judge with the Gila County Superior Court.

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Upcoming hospital changes detailed

Better care, a whole slew of changes including new laboratory and air medical transport services, and possibly lower prices.

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KMOG shifts antenna to Payson-owned site

At its last meeting, the Payson Town Council approved placing a new FM antenna on the Hillcrest water tank, boosting KMOG’s service throughout town.

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Strawberry store opens

A place with a little bit of everything in Strawberry

A tiny corner store in Straw­berry might be the last place you would think to find a designer purse, rhinestone jeans and boots, a healthy selection of emergency survival food, educational toys and a saddle. But that is just how owners Casey and Debbie Faunce designed the DC Cross Mercantile, better known as the Strawberry Market.

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Crash of car rigged with a bomb closes highway

Stunned paramedics find fuse, explosives on the underside

Several Strawberry businesses and homes were evacuated Saturday morning and traffic re-routed around town after a vehicle with a bomb strapped to it rolled into a wash at the entrance to town.

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Star Valley code commission will mediate neighborhood disputes

When neighbors report neighbors violating town code, town officials must often intervene and clean things up.

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Payson approves water recharge plan using wells

When water from the C.C. Cragin pipeline starts to flow, Payson will have more water than it can immediately use.

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Star Valley fumes about grant rejection

Star Valley officials are miffed.

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Investigators probe bizarre fire

Investigators are still trying to piece together the details of a bizarre vehicle fire in Star Valley Saturday night.

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Hellsgate Fire rescued

Layoffs averted by $1.6 million grant

Big news for the struggling Hellsgate Fire Department came at the perfect moment.