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Alexis Bechman

Stories by Alexis

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Still going strong at 90

Hiking group members 'wanna be like Ray'

With a spry skip in his step, a song in his heart and surrounded by 33 well-wishers, Ray Kinsman celebrated in his 90th birthday this week — where else but on the trail.

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New attorney eyed for Payson

The Town of Payson has narrowed the search for a new attorney to two candidates.

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Two wrecks hospitalize couple, mother and child

A hair-pin curve with a long history of serious vehicle and motorcycle wrecks sent an elderly couple 150 feet down its slope Thursday afternoon.

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Police roust rider and his saddle gets stolen

Payson got an unwelcome dose of national publicity this week when a veteran Marine making his way cross-country on a charity ride had his saddle stolen in the middle of the night from the Payson Event Center.

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A good cause, a brave survivor, a bad blunder

Nearly a statistic – now he makes a difference

Every day, at least 22 veterans commit suicide.

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Residents question RV park plan

A man’s plan to develop a small RV park in a Payson neighborhood is raising concerns among some residents.

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Town lowers public records fee

The Town of Payson last week updated its public records policy, making it easier and cheaper for residents to get documents.

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Fox Farm rezoning confusion

Payson Mayor Kenny Evans says it was all a mix up — lawyers making a muddled mess out of plans to rezone the Fox Farm/Rim Ranch.

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Lack of seat belt proves fatal

The Department of Public Safety is investigating a vehicle rollover Friday that killed a teen.

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Police Taser gun-wielding man

The Payson Police say they arrested an extremely intoxicated Chandler man Saturday afternoon after he fired his gun.

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Payson council candidates contend in low-key runoff

They campaigned next to each other in the primary on the Voice of Rim Country ticket, but when they both ended up in a one-seat runoff, they both declared they’d be happy no matter which one wins a seat on the Payson Town Council.

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A family’s heartbreaking tragedy inspires their lifesaving effort

In July, DJ Jacobs and Mackenzie Tyler came to Rim Country to hold a memorial for their son, Easton, who had died at just seven days old.

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IRS phone scam alleges tax debt

Police are warning residents about a new scam. Callers claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service have phoned several Rim Country homeowners this week saying they owe back taxes.

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Grueling search, grisly discovery

After eight days of searching more than 14 hours a day both from the sky and on foot through rocky, heavily wooded terrain, volunteers Wednesday morning found the body of a missing Valley man.

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Snorting and driving

Speeder had cocaine smeared on face

A Payson man’s effort to destroy drug evidence is what gave him away.

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Major crashes close highways

A rapid-fire succession of major accidents closed both highways 87 and 260 on all sides of Payson at least four times in the last three days. Despite the carnage, none of the accidents proved fatal — although several involved medical helicopter evacuations.

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Let Gila County do it

Fox Farm industrial planners punt

An uncommonly large crowd turned out for Monday afternoon’s Payson Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

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Habitat for Humanity store gets new location

Payson waives fee for builder of low-income housing

After months of planning and negotiation, Habitat for Humanity ReStore thrift store officials could finally announce last week that the store is moving.

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Scrapbook store closing

The chime on the front door of Paper and Metal Scrappers chirped repeatedly Wed­nesday as customers flooded the small store in the Sawmill Crossing just as the rain fell softly outside.

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Payson groups rally to keep monster wildfires out of town

Event Saturday envisions FireSmart community

Repeatedly in recent years — massive fires have threatened whole communities. The 2002 Rodeo-Chediski Fire consumed 468,000 acres and the 2012 Wallow Fire devoured 538,000.

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Crews seek hunter missing for a month

Local officials Monday mounted a search for a missing Valley man south of Payson in the Sierra Ancha Mountains.

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Payson bills may jump 50 percent by 2017 to pay for Blue Ridge

Payson residents face a series of water rate increases over the next four years to help fund the C.C. Cragin pipeline, which officials are calling a “forever” water source.

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Volunteers make Fossil Creek rescue

Two Show Low women were rescued from Fossil Creek Saturday after they tried to bushwhack out of the canyon.

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New ADOT building to house de-icer

You likely notice it as you drive south through town past Wal­mart. The Arizona Department of Transportation recently constructed a large, virgin white barn south of the mega store.

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Tragic drowning in lake

A 9-year-old Valley boy drowned this weekend while swimming with family at Roosevelt Lake.

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Crews looking for missing man in the McFadden Peak Area off Highway 288

Local officials yesterday mounted a search for a missing Valley man south of Payson in the Sierra Ancha Mountains.

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Sales tax revenue flat; building permits up

The latest financial report shows the Rim Country economy is picking up speed in some areas and sputtering out in others, according to the town’s monthly tracking report for August.

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Vehicle fire lights up dawn; cause unknown

Firefighters put a fire out in a pickup truck early Wednesday morning. It is still unclear what sparked the blaze around 5:30 a.m. on West Evergreen Circle.

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Payson finally has a new animal control officer

It’s been more than a year since Payson had a full-time animal control officer and while things haven’t gone to the dogs yet, everyone is relieved to see a replacement in place.

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Police armor up with military surplus

Payson collects M16s, armored trucks, bayonets worth $15 million

When a man shot two bullets out the side of his trailer on 703 E. Miller Road, the Payson Police Department responded with a military troop transport. The 15-ton vehicle had a wheel well you could stand in and steel walls thick enough to withstand a mine or a rocket-propelled grenade.

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Rates could rise

Water charges may jump by 50% to pay for pipeline

The Payson Town Council took the first step toward raising water rates Thursday night after a consultant said the town will need to increase rates by 50 percent to finish the C.C. Cragin pipeline.

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Beeline Insurance wins $3,500 donation for GLH fund

A local insurance group recently beat out 200 other Arizona agencies, raising $3,500 for the Gracie Lee Haught Children’s Memorial Fund.

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Rare near identical rollovers at Corvair Curve

In the same location, but just hours apart, nearly identical wrecks occurred Sunday south of town on Highway 87.

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Pine fire under investigation

Hydrant installed with road work big factor in saving structure

It is still unclear what caused a house fire in Pine early Friday morning with the investigation scheduled for later this week.

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Rain closes Tonto Creek crossings

An intense monsoon storm that swept through Rim Country this weekend forced officials to close the swollen Tonto Creek, cancel several events and sent some motorists slipping and sliding off the roadways.

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Chopper called, canceled, called again, as wounded suspect dies

A can of bear mace. A spray of bullets. A man dead.

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House fire in Pine

When a house fire breaks out, especially in the middle of the night when no one is home, there is often little chance of saving the structure and crews do their best instead to stop the spread to other homes. In rural Rim Country, where fire hydrants are sparse, any chance of salvage is even less.

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Teen mounted his own crime wave

Police say they solved a series of graffiti and vehicle burglary cases last week after an armed homeowner caught a teenager in the act.

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Mesa motorcyclist dies on 87

A 25-year-old Mesa man died Monday night after he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a guardrail south of town, according to the Department of Public Safety.

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Fox Farm annexation advances

The Payson Town Council last week moved forward with annexing the Fox Farms property in Granite Dells, this time to a sole protester.

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Officer in fatal shooting

Suspect dead, but details sketchy

A man was killed Friday afternoon in a shooting involving a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer south of Blue Ridge, according to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.

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Van burns at brush pit

A Payson man’s minivan went up in flames Saturday at a local brush pit, but crews kept the fire from spreading to the forest, according to Hellsgate Fire officials.

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Sidewalk chalk ban dropped

It is once again safe to draw up a game of hopscotch after the Payson Town Council last week backed off plans to ban chalk use in public parks.

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Sandoval sisters welcomed home

Payson warmly welcomed home Bekah and Jen Sandoval last week during a near sold out concert for their band, Run Boy Run, at Expedition Church.

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Marine won’t quit

Combat veteran walks 2,241 miles & counting to help comrades

Day 96 and mile 2,241: That is how far veteran Marine sniper Justin Kuhel had come Friday when he walked through Payson on a cross-country journey to raise money and awareness for wounded veterans.

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Chief Bathke takes over at Hellsgate Fire Department

‘We were looking for a jack-of-all-trades with skills in everything’

For just the third time in its history, the Hellsgate Fire Department swore in a new operational chief last week.

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Bizarre threat

Bomb threat escape attempt?

A man who briefly escaped from a Maricopa County Jail two years ago now has made strange bomb threats directed at the Gila County courthouses, say authorities.

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Chalky desperado crackdown

Payson has created a new class of criminals: 5-year-olds with sidewalk chalk.

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Beeline Highway gets a facelift

The busiest intersection in Payson in the next month will get a much-needed, $205,000 facelift.

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Teen retailer coming to town

Rue21 plans for shop latest sign business is picking up

A new retailer is coming to Payson this winter, but don’t expect their stylish clothes to keep you warm.