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Michele Nelson

Stories by Michele

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Prepared for the worst

Schools update disaster planning

Once again, Susan Campbell, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Payson Unified School District, has presented better emergency plans for the district.

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Local candidates gather at chamber

Many local candidates showed up at a recent Rim Country Chamber of Commerce meeting to introduce themselves to business leaders in the community.

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GCC hopes dwindle with its enrollment

The $6 million question for Gila Community College — can it run independently? And will $6 million even suffice for the provisional college district in the face of plunging enrollment?

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Candidate Cattle Call

Chamber draws political hopefuls

A recent meeting of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce attracted almost everyone running for office in Rim Country — in both the primary in August and the general election in November.

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Irate residents prompt Tonto Schools to back off tax hike

Residents say district should ask for help before hiking tax rates

Outside the Tonto Basin Elementary School District, temperatures soared past 100. Inside, tempers sizzled even hotter as residents gathered to protest a proposed boost in their property taxes.

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Pine hikes water rates

On June 23, the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District board voted to increase rates, both for property taxes and water usage.

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Everything in moderation – even almonds

The Healthy Foodie

Pop quiz: How is almond milk like a cat lady?

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Payson’s got Oscars of our own

Each year, after all the productions have ended and the auditorium prepares for a quiet summer, the Payson High School Drama Department gathers for its own version of the Oscars: The Thespies.

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Businesses sponsor mountain bike event for kids

Sunshine Cleaning, Payson bike shops give lucky local children a mountain bike adventure

What could be more fun than kids, dirt and bikes?

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Pack It Out program sets record

The Forest Service Pack It Out program only needed 20 more pounds of trash to make it an even 10,000 pounds collected on the July 4th weekend — which thrilled staff and set a new record for the program.

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Why did Payson teachers quit?

This year, not only did Payson Unified School District make full disclosure on how many employees left the district, but the district also reported reasons they left.

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Sample a new winery close to home

Take a break on the way to Cottonwood, Sedona or Jerome at the Clear Creek Vineyard and Winery off of Highway 260 before Camp Verde.

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Challenger seeks to unseat recorder

Monica Wohlforth criticizes county’s customer service

Globe business owner Monica Wohlforth seeks the Gila County Recorder’s position to improve customer service and fix problems in the county’s database including a host of vital records.

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Gorry: Empower teachers

Seeks election as Gila County superintendent of schools

For Gail Gorry, the August primary will make it or break it for her in the Gila County school superintendent’s race.

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Were olives the Romans’ secret weapon?

The Healthy Foodie

I’ve always admired the Romans, especially their military-grade physiques suitable for marble sculpture — so strong, ruthless and prolific. No wonder they conquered vast tracks of the Mediterranean, Europe and Middle East.

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Health care crisis

Plans pull out of exchange

Northern Gila County residents dependent on the Affordable Care Act for medical care will likely find themselves with a single choice of insurance — and problems in finding needed specialists.

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Arizona’s students bomb AzMERIT test

At the end of June, the Arizona Department of Education released state level results of the AzMERIT test. The state won’t release school and student results until August.

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Schools graded

Parents give a thumbs up; students rate a raspberry

Braving feedback from parents, teachers, staff and students, Payson Unified School District Superintendent Greg Wyman found the results pleasantly positive.

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Budding scientists get GEARED UP

Jackie Wallace, GEAR UP coordinator for Payson Unified School District, took 11 students from her cohort to Safford for the GEAR UP Summer Camp of Champions June 13-17.

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Roundup shifts to morning delivery under new owners

The purchase of the Payson Roundup by a family with a century of newspaper experience and eight papers in Arizona will bring a host of changes — but no decline in the Roundup’s commitment to community journalism stretching back to 1937.

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Board debates tuition for foreign students

As it does every year, the Payson Unified School District Governing Board reviewed its decision to charge foreign exchange students tuition.

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The pesto perfectionist vs. the adventurous cook

The Healthy Foodie

Wandering the asphalt aisles of the Payson Farmer’s Market, I came face to face with my secret shame.

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May the (Dry) Force be with you

War on water can prove complex

Pipe burst?

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Ex-Pine water district treasurer indicted

Auditor general concludes Mike Greer stole from PSWID, and posse

The Arizona State grand jury has indicted former Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District treasurer and board member Mike Greer on eight felony counts related to charges of conflict-of-interest, theft, fraudulent schemes and forgery in scams totaling more than $100,000.

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Forest Service hopes holiday visitors will ‘Pack It Out’

The Pack It In, Pack It Out program for July 4th will only have one location for visitors’ trash —the Home Depot parking lot.

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Dark money debate joined

Corporation Commission candidate Robert Burns would like the APS power company to disclose how much money it spent to support the election of Corporation Commission candidates Doug Forese and Tom Little in the last election.

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Here’s to hoping essential fatty acids can fix wrinkles

The Healthy Foodie

Did you know there are no jokes about wrinkles?

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All Payson teachers (almost) make goals — get pay bump

Payson Unified School District teachers received a performance pay bump – if they reached 80 percent of their goals.

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SCRUBS camp introduces students to the health field

A sobering taste of blood, guts and needles

It might seem like a good idea to a choose a career in health care, but the reality might not live up to expectations — because, you know, blood, guts and needles are involved.

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New signs point way to fossils from a vanished world

No more guessing at the Rim Country’s own Paleo site just outside of Kohl’s Ranch.

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Payson schools losing veteran teachers

Music, vocational programs hard hit by loss of teachers

Each May, the list of teachers leaving the district due to retirement, another job, dissatisfaction with the profession, low salaries and other reasons gets longer and longer.

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Tonto Basin hit with huge tax increase

In a unanimous vote this week, the Tonto Basin School Board approved the 2016-17 school year budget, which includes a 75 percent property tax increase.

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Heat setting records

Starting Saturday, the heat was on.

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Pine school furor continues

Four seats on the Pine-Strawberry Elementary School District board need filling, but only two people have taken out paperwork for the November general election — incumbents Helen Palmer and Jessica Barnett.

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Ocotillo wine – no really, it’s medicinal

The Healthy Foodie

I just had to drink ocotillo wine as I wrote this column, because, well, I learned it’s medicinal.

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Making a mountain bike mecca

The Rim Country Mountain Biking Association didn’t wait for the Forest Service Travel Management Plan to start building a coalition with the Forest Service, the Town of Payson and the International Mountain Biking Association.

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Inspiring music teachers stage their final Payson High School concert

The Payson High School band, guitar groups and choirs had one last concert for the year.

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School district upgrades textbooks

The Payson Unified School District board voted to purchase new reading textbooks for elementary- through middle school-aged students at its June 13 meeting.

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PUSD improvements funded through energy savings

The Payson Unified School District board will improve the football field and add lights under the terms of a contract with McKinstry Essention.

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Young Payson composer thrills listeners

A surprise awaited the audience of the last Payson High School concert — an original concert band piece composed by junior Colin Nossek.

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Oregano is an unapologetic, tough multi-tasker

The Healthy Foodie

My daughter Crystal always asks to switch the radio to her favorite pop station when we drive. On the way to school one day, the Meghan Trainor song, “No” came on.

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High fructose corn syrup possibly a Cold War plot

The Healthy Foodie

So one of my conspiracy theorist sources put me onto a hot theory.

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Farmers Market helps stretch food dollar

Now accepting SNAP, WIC and Senior FMNP programs

The Payson Farmers Market helps more people who use food safety nets than any other Farmers Market in Arizona.

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Tons of trash

The Forest Service and its volunteers celebrated another successful trash collection for the holiday weekend gathering up 6,700 pounds of the messy stuff in two locations.

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County candidates file for primaries

The deadline has closed for candidates interested in running for countywide offices and some of the races have contested line-ups.

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Meteor blasts into atmosphere above Rim Country

Around 4 a.m. on June 2, a boom and bright light in the sky awakened people in and around Rim Country.

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Get a taste of home in Sedona

Gerardo’s Italian grill expands, but says he’s not leaving Payson

Gerardo Moceri says he can’t escape the rumor that he’s leaving Payson.

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Teachers tear up; graduates cheer

Many a tear welled up when the Voci Choir group sang “Lean On Me” at the 2016 Payson High School graduation — for the song captured the essence of the teacher-student relationship.

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Food allergies challenging hostesses everywhere

The Healthy Foodie

I never used to ask my guests, “Any foods I need to avoid?”

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PCCS celebrates student artists

Armed with a set of stickers with three colors — yellow, pink and green — parents, grandparents, students and teachers of Payson Community Christian School wandered past three different class groupings of art projects to vote on their favorite.

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