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Jason Harris

Stories by Jason

Storm blew visitors in

Hello again fellow Creekers. It’s a winter wonderland again in Christopher Creek. We’ve received quite a bit of snow from this last storm, which was a much-needed boom for business. The Christopher Creek Lodge has been busier in the last few weeks and we’ve had many visitors from the Valley that are enjoying playing in some snow during their spring break.

Meet Steve Sundra

Hello again, fellow Creekers. It’s time for another installment of “better know your neighbor.” This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Sundra. He has lived in Ponderosa Springs for 18 years and is currently retired but still fills in tending bar part-time at Creekside Restaurant and is the president of the Ponderosa Springs Home Owners Association. Steve is currently one of the few full-time residents in Ponderosa Springs.

Kudos to area restaurants

Hello again fellow Creekers. The Annual Taste of Rim Country Chef’s competition was held at the Payson Library on March 3. Many area chefs, caterers, and restaurants competed in this event including: Au Natural Cafe at Healthy Perspectives, Gerardo’s Firewood Café, Ayothaya Thai Cafe, Cedar Ridge Restaurant, Cardo’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant, Laura’s Small Café with Vita-Mart, Randall House, Rim Country Jams, Miss Fitz 260 Cafe, Creekside Restaurant, and Landmark at The Creek.

Neighbor says there’s no place she’d rather live than in CC

Hello again, fellow Creekers. It’s time for another installment of “better know your neighbor.” This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Patty Scheierman. Patty currently works part-time at the Christopher Creek Lodge and also does massage therapy. I first met Patty about a year ago, and she is always friendly and helpful and has a great appreciation for the outdoors. Patty is originally from Missouri, but lived in Scottsdale for 25 years before moving to Christopher Creek where she has now lived for the last year.

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Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department working project grant

Hello again, fellow Creekers. The Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department is currently working a large project grant that treats five major properties within our fire district. There will be a meeting held at Creekside at 9 a.m. on Feb. 24 where the parameters of the grant will be discussed with the participants. The Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department is also putting together another large project grant that has to be submitted by March 8. The properties must be together, and total 15 or more acres. This can be separate properties that adjoin each other and border the USFS properties. It is a 90/10 percent grant; the state pays 90 percent and the property owners pay 10 percent. This is a good deal for those who wish to participate.

Sledding and tubing available on the Rim Country lakes

Hello again, fellow Creekers. Tuesday, Feb. 14 was not only Valentine’s Day, but it was also the 100th anniversary for the state of Arizona. So let’s celebrate the state’s birthday and visit some local attractions. We have had a beautiful winter. There is still some snow for sledding and tubing nearby Woods Canyon Lake and we have had many visitors from the Valley this winter that have come out to enjoy the snow. The Rim Country lakes are a popular attraction all year long and offer sledding in the winter and fishing in the summer. Aside, from the Rim Country lakes there are many other local attractions in the Christopher Creek area. The Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery produces and stocks around 400,000 brook and cutthroat trout, 165,000 rainbow trout, and 150,000 of Apache trout which is Arizona’s state fish.

Water well property subject of fire board meeting Feb. 13

Hello again, fellow Creekers. The Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department board meeting will be held at the CKFD Station on Monday Feb. 13 at 5:30 p.m. The board will be discussing the status and conditions of the property on Columbine Road that is leased by the water company from the fire department. This well sometimes supplies more than 50 percent of the water used by the Christopher Creek community. The water company is strongly advising members of the community who rely on its water to attend this board meeting.

Community takes its name from French settler and explorer

Hello again, fellow Creekers. Feb. 14 marks 100 years of statehood for Arizona. This makes me think about our history right here in Christopher Creek. The quiet and friendly community of Christopher Creek is named after the French settler, explorer and cartographer, Isadore Christopher, who lived here in the 1880s with his mail-order bride, Mary Hope. Christopher was the original homesteader of the 160-acre CI Ranch, which has developed into the community of Christopher Creek. In 1903, when Isadore Christopher, after the death of his wife, decided to move away from the ranch, he sold it to John Bowman. In 1938, the ranch was sold by the Bowmans to Paul Revere and Polly Rodema Mendenhall Ashby, the parents of Glenn Ashby.

AT&T activates broadband site at Christopher Creek

Hello again, fellow Creekers. We have numerous visitors in Christopher Creek each year that come to enjoy the biggest stand of ponderosa pine trees in the world, the Mogollon Rim, or some that stop by just to take a picture with the Mogollon Monster at the Christopher Creek Lodge. This unique wood carving stands 10 feet high and is one of only three in the state. Christopher Creek is a beautiful place to visit for all seasons and we welcome the many visitors we get each year. AT&T contacted the Christopher Creek Lodge yesterday to say they have activated a new mobile broadband cell site in Christopher Creek that will enhance coverage.

Hashknife Pony Express rides again

Hello again, fellow Creekers. The Hashknife Pony Express will be back again this year in Christopher Creek on Feb. 8. They will arrive at Creekside Restaurant between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Creekside Restaurant will have posters and mailers for sale. The posters are $10 and mailers are $1. Envelopes may also be purchased at the Holbrook, Overgaard, Pine, Heber, Payson, Fountain Hills and Scottsdale post offices.

Meet the Lewis family

It is time for another installment of my “Better know your neighbor” series and this time it’s personal. The Christopher Creek Lodge has hired a new property manager, Brendon Lewis. Brendon moved to Christopher Creek from Ava, Mo., about 45 minutes from Branson, where he was working on his father’s cattle ranch and attended Drury University. Brendon was born in Winslow, Ariz. and lived in Pinetop from first grade through high school where he met and later married his wife, Angela.

Control burns by Forest Service will be in Christopher Creek area soon

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year and I would like to take a moment to thank those who serve our community to keep us safe. The Gila County Sheriff’s Office services all of Gila County, which was established in 1881. There are around 160 people who work for the Sheriff’s office. Sheriff John R. Armer, a Gila County native, has been servicing in law enforcement since 1968 and was elected as sheriff in 2000.

Holidays are a great time to spend with friends and family

I hope you all had a nice holiday and got to spend some time with family and friends. We had lots of beautiful snow up here in Christopher Creek. The New Year is only a few days away and I would like to wish you all an early happy new year. The New Year is always a chance to be a better person, start losing weight, take another look at those dreams, put some goals down on paper, or try to make the next year better than the last.

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Annual Golf Cart and ATV Light Parade was great success

This year’s Christopher Creek Annual Golf Cart and ATV Light Parade was another great time. Thanks to all the folks who participated in the event and congratulations to all the winners. Pam and Mel Milhoun won the first place prize for best decorated home. Second place went to Bob Lusson and third place to Scotty and Electra. The first place winner for the best decorated golf cart or ATV went to Mike Jelinek, second place to Gary and Cindi Werlinger, third place to John Buckholtz, fourth place to Debbie Dawson and fifth place went to Dean and Jenny. Our thanks for the many prizes that were donated by Christopher Creek businesses.

Many Rim Country residents need help this holiday season

I am wishing each and everyone of you a very blessed and Merry Christmas. Let’s not forget the true meaning of the holiday season. In a time where the economy seems to be improving, but is still not back to where it could be. Where people are still dealing with the loss of maybe their jobs, or their homes brought on by the recession.

Annual Golf Cart, ATC Light Parade is Saturday

The holidays are here and it’s time again for the Christopher Creek Annual Golf Cart and ATV Light Parade. The event will be held this Saturday, Dec. 10. The parade will start at the Tall Pines Market at 6:30 p.m. The parade will wind through neighborhoods and end back at the Christopher Creek Loop where there will be an after celebration at the Landmark at the Creek and Creekside Restaurant. Prizes will be handed out at Landmark at the Creek for the top 3 carts. There are many fun community events during the holidays.

Self-taught artist following her dream to paint

This is the story of an artist with a longtime dream come true. Terry Glad Flores has lived in Payson since 1992 and has a passion and amazing talent of painting. She is a self-taught artist that after many years of self-teaching was introduced to the world renowned artist, Robert Freeman. Terry attended a workshop at Robert Freeman’s studio and that is when her passion for painting grew even more. Terry has won awards along the way including Judge’s Choice and Best of Show honors in the Gila County Fair in 2000.

Remember those who need some help during the holidays

Happy Thanksgiving! I personally love this holiday because what is better than eating so much great food that a person becomes immobile in front of a television set with a football game on? I consider myself one of the fortunate ones. Not everyone has it so good on Thanksgiving. There are many people that are having a rough go of it and could use some support, someone to chat with and even just a hot meal.

The community of Christopher Creek lost a good, caring man

I received a call the other day that a very special man who was part of our family for almost 20 years had passed away. I could not believe what I was hearing. I thought this must be a mistake. This cannot be true. But it is and today we say goodbye to a wonderful man, a good-hearted man, a mentor, and someone we could always count on. George Billings passed away last week. This following article was submitted by Mikey Marazza.

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Bible fellowship celebrates pastor’s 75th birthday

On Sunday, Nov. 6 Christopher Creek Bible Fellowship celebrated Pastor Ed Hepworth’s 75th birthday.  More than 50 people were in attendance and enjoyed a delicious Mexican potluck. Fun and great fellowship was had by all in honor of his birthday which is actually on Nov. 9.

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Annual Halloween party was huge success

The annual CCHA Halloween Party on Oct. 22 for the kids from our community was a huge success. CCHA wishes to thank our businesses for their participation. Tall Pines Market (Mike Jelinek and his staff), the New Landmark restaurant (Gary and Cindi Werlinger and their staff), Creekside restaurant (Gene Bettencourt and his staff). They went all-out this year with lots of candy, fun things for the kids and much more!

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Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department to hold community meeting

Have your voice heard (or at least know what is going on in your community). The Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department is having a community meeting on Monday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. This meeting is very important and will directly affect all residents in this area. The discussion will be about the budget, taxes and what kind of fire department we’d like to have.

Halloween brings community together for fall fun

It is almost time for Halloween parties and trick-or-treating. Halloween, for some reason, was always my favorite holiday. As a kid, I remember trying to get as much candy as possible and then sitting around with my friends seeing what I could trade my candy corn for (never liked that stuff for some reason). When I was older, I participated in and started many haunted houses over the years (with the most popular being what we called “the Haunted Maze”).

Cross-country ski track was once a popular activity

Well it is about the time when business starts slowing down up here. A little birdie told me years and years ago there used to be a cross-country ski track that someone had built that was actually quite popular.

Fall is a favorite time of year for many Rim Country residents

The fall season is really one of my favorite times of year. It brings in the cool, crisp, clean air and just adds to the tranquility of Christopher Creek.

Holiday food drives have started in Christopher Creek

Hello again, fellow Creekers. I bumped into Jeff and Dee Daniels the other day and they reminded me that the Holiday food drive has started. Donations of food (turkeys, canned food, holiday favorites, etc.) can be dropped off at the Tall Pines Market, the Landmark @ the Creek or the Christopher-Kohl’s fire station. All donations will be delivered to folks in time for both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Third Annual Fall Fling at Wheelers RV Park is Sunday

The Third Annual Fall Fling is just around the corner. Sept. 18, at Wheelers RV Park on the loop. BYOB and a dish to share. Music will be by Lynda St. John. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a $ 5 donation for entertainment. Hope to see everyone there!

Fire Belles looking for new officers

Phyllis, the current president of the Fire Belles, asked that I get the word out. The Fire Belles are looking for new officers. The statement from some members of the communities in our district other than Christopher Creek rarely ever hear about activities such as this. So, we wanted to make sure everyone had an opportunity to get involved.

Fuel break can help protect community in middle of the forest

The Christopher Creek fuel break is a circular swath of land on Forest Service property entirely around the Christopher Creek community. The swath is approximately 330 feet wide and totals about 388 acres. In that swath, all undergrowth has been cut down, as well as smaller trees that would enable a fire to “ladder” to the tops of the taller trees, resulting in a very dangerous, fast-moving and difficult to fight crown fire.

Fund-raising event planned for fire department

Ya’ll tell your friends and join us at the Landmark at Christopher Creek on Aug. 28 from noon to 2 p.m., where you can expect some great food and an entertaining time with music provided by Linda St. John. It will be held as a Christopher-Kohl’s Fire District fund-raising event. The CKFD fund-raising event is for some new equipment and to donate to our local MDA. Look for the firefighter boots to drop your donation in. Thanks on behalf of the fire department.

Payson Dew was a popular prohibition drink

What is Payson Dew? Prohibition in the United States was started in January 1920. On that date alcohol production, distribution and use was prohibited by law. In Green Valley near Christopher Creek a little something else was brewing though.

Timber rattler pays a visit to Creek residents

On Sunday, July 25, Bianca Malmin was visiting Art and Pat Guevara. When she walked to her golf cart, there was a timber rattler curled up under the porch about 3 feet from her cart.

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Christopher Creek will have potluck, BBQ this weekend

The Christopher Creek Community Potluck and Deep-Pit Barbecue will be at 1 p.m., Saturday, July 30. Hosted by Alex and Irma Armenta, and Rod Britain at Bud Light John and Kathy’s Place. Deep-pit barbecue will be provided. Bring a side dish and drinks and bring your friends! Limited parking, but golf carts and quads are encouraged.

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Christopher Creek parade attracted 50 entries to annual event

The Christopher Creek Independence Day Parade was a great success. There were approximately 50 entries which included the walkers and bike riders. We hope to do it again next year as everyone seemed to have a good time. A special thanks to Tall Pines Market for allowing us to

Water testing of Tonto, Christopher creeks water reveals one problem

Anyone ever wonder about the quality of the creek water? Not long ago a volunteer organization was formed up here called TWIG, which is short for Tonto Watershed Improvement Group.

So far Christopher Creek has avoided an impact from forest wildfires

Well it has certainly been a devastating fire season thus far. It is really sad all of the devastation that has happened, and even more discouraging is that nearly all of them appear to be man-made and preventable. Here in Christopher Creek we have been very lucky to not have been directly impacted, but there have been three big fires that did get our attention (the Wallow, the Willow and the Wash).

Independence Day Parade will be Saturday, July 2

This is the last reminder for the Independence Parade scheduled for Saturday, July 2. John Mitchell is the originator and grand marshal of the Independence Day Parade, so if you have any questions you may reach him at 602-478-4729. We will line up in front of the Tall Pines Market at 12:45 p.m. and the parade will start promptly at 1 p.m. The parade will conclude at the Landmark on the Creek where there will be free ice cream for the kids. So, come on out and decorate your quads, golf carts, trucks, ATVs and bikes or you can get some exercise in and walk with your pet on a leash.

Fun-filled Independence Day Parade being organized

Hello again, fellow Creekers. Alex and Irma Armenta are helping to organize a fun-filled event to be known as the Independence Day Parade. It will commence on Saturday, July 2. Everyone participating will line up in front of the Tall Pines Market at 12:45 p.m and the parade will start at 1 p.m. The parade will wind around and conclude at the Landmark On The Creek with free ice cream for the kids.

Christopher Creek homeowners will hold community potluck

tomorrow, Saturday, June 11 at 1 p.m. on Columbine Road across from Ashby’s Meadow. Please bring a dish to share, a chair if you can, and something to drink. We will have brats, plates, plastic silverware, and condiments. Music provided by John Marksbury. Come meet your neighbors and have a nice time. Thank you to Judy Tolle, secretary of the CCHA, for providing me this information. Judy also wanted me to mention to wish Marsha Ward a speedy recovery from her surgery. She is in Payson Regional Medical Center until Thursday.

Reader is glad to know CC hasn’t changed much

I got another nice letter in response to last week’s article about one of the memorable locals.

Remembering longtime Christopher Creek resident

I got this nice letter submitted to me and thought it would be neat to share.

Interim fire chief likes living in the mountains

The county is going on fire restrictions starting Friday, May 13 at 8 a.m. Also, the Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department just posted their new budget.

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Getting ready for summer

The annual CCHOA Easter Egg Hunt just got over with last weekend and I’ve got the pictures to prove it!

Many fun events planned for month of May

Well with the weather getting nicer it is time to get out there a start having some fun events.

Tall Pines Market offering quad, bicycle rentals

Mike Jelinek of the Tall Pines Market has officially opened up a new rental side of the business.

Business community looking to support Jeep venture

The summer season is right around the corner and part of what the CCVA does is to create business, and jobs for the community.

Important to keep properties free of yard debris

Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona has proclaimed the week of March 27 through April 2 Wildfire Awareness Week in Arizona.

Christopher Creek is huge compared to some communities

It’s time for another installment of “better know your neighbor.” This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Linda Bailey.

Creekside Steakhouse under new ownership

The next fire department board meeting is April 11 at 6 p.m. If you have not attended a meeting, you really should. Anyone from the community is encouraged to attend. This is your fire department.

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Recipe originated in Christopher Creek

The Christopher Creek Homeowners Association (CCHA) is having its annual Easter Egg Hunt come April 23.