Back to profile

Michele Nelson

Stories by Michele

Tease photo

‘Footloose’ – A trifecta of talent

Students tackle acting, singing AND dancing in latest production

“Not many high schools tackle a show this complex,” said Thomas Walling, lead director for the musical after opening night.

Tease photo

Education expert David Garcia swinging through Payson

A local Arizonan, David Garcia, born and raised in the state and a product of its public schools, has decided to throw his hat into the candidate ring for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Tease photo

Experiencing the ‘anti-inflammation’ diet

The Healthy Foodie

Alexis Bechman, the Roundup’s court, crime and cops reporter, has an interest in healthy food — she’s even decided to grow her own kombucha (a fermented tea touted for medicinal properties). Not my cup of tea, but if that works for her, I’m all for whatever makes one feel healthy.

Tease photo

Challenger blasts state’s priorities

Democrat keys on education, Barton’s remarks about Hitler

Lanny Morrison does not have Jeff Flake’s smile nor Brenda Barton’s hair, but he has experience — lots and lots of experience in areas that affect most citizens every day: health, business, education and family welfare.

Tease photo

FBLA students gear up for end of the year activities

The computer lab that serves as Bud Evans’ FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) headquarters at Payson High School buzzed with activity.

Tease photo

A grounded collaboration between schools

“The fourth-graders are asking questions fast and furious,” said Payson High School (PHS) animal sciences teacher David Ruther­ford.

Tease photo

Water rate hike furor

Corporation commission holding final hearing on steep rate hikes for Rim Country tonight

The Arizona Corporation Commission will visit Payson this evening to hear a final round of public comments on a proposal to significantly boost base water rates in many Rim Country communities and impose costly water hauling charges.

Tease photo

Preventive maintenance is goal

PSWID manager hopes to predict, fix problems before they occur

The Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District (PSWID) manager Brad Cole submitted an annual report to the acting board that painted a picture of efficiency on March 20, but no one has seen an annual report for two years.

Tease photo

What you eat affects your sleep – truly!

The Healthy Foodie

The clock shows the time: 2 a.m.

Tease photo

Volunteers to the rescue

Forest Service needs help to protect forest

Bored? Love the outdoors? Well, Chelsea Muise of the Payson Ranger District has an answer — volunteer for the Forest Service.

Tease photo

PSWID board approves six-figure tank repair

The Gila County Board of Supervisors, acting as the interim board for the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District, voted to approve paying $137,915 to fix the major storage tank for the water system.

Tease photo

Class offerings for high school – still no calculus

Principal of Payson High School (PHS) Brian Mabb has lots of ideas for reinstating class offerings — but calculus is still not in the mix.

Tease photo

Creating a civilization in one class period

The two sixth-grade girls from Barbara Potvin’s social studies class scrunched up their faces as they pointed to hand-drawn pictures.

Tease photo

GCC prepared to pay to get out of solar contract

The Gila Community College (GCC) governing board has waited for more than a year to put up solar panels in its parking lot, all the while watching government offices around the Rim Country complete projects.

Tease photo

You’re hired

New superintendent selected for PUSD

Dr. Gregory Wyman has accepted the Payson Unified School District’s (PUSD) offer to become the next superintendent of the district.

Tease photo

Poker run benefits local cancer patients

Annual event held in honor of Tonto Basin cowgirl

Laci Sopeland hopes no one ever has to go through what her family has suffered because of cancer, but if they do, she’s there to help.

Tease photo

It’s like Christmas with vegetables

The Healthy Foodie

Ever find yourself serving the same side of veggies week after week after week?

Tease photo

Tiny insects cause lock down of high school

At 1:30 p.m. on Friday the normally bustling Payson High School campus had only breezes blowing through the hallways, while faces of students peeked through classroom windows.

Tease photo

Lone vote foils tuition increase

Fittingly enough, the electricity went out during the fitful “raise the tuition” discussion at the Gila Community College (GCC) board meeting on March 27. The board needed four different communication devices to figure out how to resume the discussion.

Tease photo

Speed-dating superintendents

Community meets four finalists for the job

The four candidates for Payson’s top spot in the school district went through a grueling two hours of a speed dating-style type interviews in the district board room with district administration, town leadership, county and community college education administrators.

Tease photo

High school chemistry shows off for middle school students

On a blustery day before Payson schools let out for the spring break, Meena Rustagi’s chemistry class showed off colored soap, glowing Mountain Dew, and burning dollar bills to middle school students.

Tease photo

School budget up – but just barely

After five years of layoffs, salary freezes and crumbling infrastructure, the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) has turned a corner.

Tease photo

School finalists picked

Four vie for top spot in Payson

After a marathon seven-hour meeting on March 24, the Payson Unified School District board narrowed the field of 22 superintendent candidates down to four.

Tease photo

Pine strife dampened

Citizen group promised for water district

The Gila County Board of Super­visors appointed a citizen committee to oversee an audit and the creation a next year’s Pine-Strawberry Water Improve­ment District (PSWID) budget at its board meeting on March 20 — opening the floodgates of good vibes.

Tease photo

Oils that can take the heat without taking it out on your heart

The Healthy Foodie

Every cook needs a reliable partner in the kitchen — a helpmate that can take the heat without panicking.

Tease photo

Park’s surprising back story

Green Valley solved a whole flood of problems

While returning from a meeting at the Northern Gila County Sanitary District (NGCSD) in 1988, Buzz Walker and Rich Williamson drove past the pastures next to Julia Randall Elementary — and had a vision.

Tease photo

He’s worth the wait

College finally gets new board member

The Gila Community College board (GCC) has patiently waited nine months for a new board member to replace Tom Loeffler, but the wait for the newest member to the family was well worth it.

Tease photo

Heroin arrests

Woman smuggles drugs into jail

One 18-year-old Valley woman spread the curse of heroin from the streets of Payson into the Gila County Jail where she was charged with “promoting prison contraband” on March 10.

Tease photo

Chore Solutions owner is just like anyone else

Detailer doesn’t let cerebral palsy tarnish his shine

He gets to play with all sorts of expensive cars and trucks, a favorite pastime, even if he can’t afford them.

Tease photo

Law keeps anyone from harvesting dead elk

Early in the morning on Monday, Feb. 24, an elk lay suffering by the side of the Houston Mesa Road, a victim of a hit and run.

Tease photo

Lessons from the grocery store

Grocery store shopping: Everyone does it, but not everyone knows what goes on behind the scenes.

Tease photo

Students off to state science fair

Five Payson students will represent the school district at the Arizona State Science and Engineering Fair, March 31 through April 2 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Tease photo

Common Core survives

Senate nixes bid to limit federal standards

A slew of bills before the Arizona Legislature that would allow school districts to opt out of federal Common Core Standards, but this week the Senate spiked the first of those bills — Senate Bill 1310.

Tease photo

Finding the perfect balance of essential fatty acids

The Healthy Foodie

So, I decided to take U of A Dr. Andrew Weil’s advice and add the most effective fat to my diet to help achieve my fountain of youth/quiotixesque dream of perfect health.

Tease photo

Storm blankets Rim

Around Rim Country the skies opened up over the weekend and gave everything a much needed bath, while filling up rivers and reservoirs.

Tease photo

College board still grappling with tuition dilemma

For the second month in a row, the Gila Community College Board (GCC) has punted on deciding whether to raise tuition, despite vigorous support from senior dean Stephen Cullen.

Tease photo

March coming in like a lion

This March will roar in like a lion with the National Weather Service (NOAA) calling for 100 percent chance of showers on Saturday, the first day of the month.

Tease photo

PHS thespians to compete at state

It’s said that 97 percent of people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy at a funeral. If that’s true, the Payson High School (PHS) thespians deserve kudos for getting up on stage this weekend to compete at the state regional festival this weekend.

Tease photo

Around the World in 8 Plates is match made in culinary heaven

“This is Payson’s Epcot,” said Sharry Jarrell as she sat down in the Rim Country Middle School cafeteria to enjoy a helping of broiled asparagus wrapped in Canadian bacon and cheese sprinkled with breadcrumbs paired with an herbed white fish spread on toast from Denmark.

Tease photo

GCC to add more vocational classes

Gila Community College Dean Stephen Cullen announced two new vocational classes for Payson students at the board meeting on Feb. 20: cosmetology and medical billing.

Tease photo

Mesa del pipeline loan OK’d

Payson hookup will raise rates but eliminate shortage

Mesa del Caballo residents will no longer see trucks bearing expensive water trundling into their community this summer — a loan to build a pipeline cleared all hurdles last week, an­nounced the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona.

Tease photo

Payson Community Garden reopening this weekend

Classes start, gates open and plots selling out

Time to pull out shovels and spades — the Community Garden on East Tyler Parkway will host an open house on Saturday, March 1.

Tease photo

Conflict prompts GCC lobbyist to quit

Bill seeking fair workforce funding spawns controversy

A conflict involving vital workforce development funds has prompted longtime lobbying firm Triadvocates to quit representing Gila Community College (GCC) before the Legislature, according to a Feb. 5 letter sent to board president Sam Moorhead.

Tease photo

Superintendent search launched

Déjà vu all over again.

Tease photo

Students jumping for heart health

Driving down Rancho Road, passersby could not help but see the Payson Elementary School (PES) playground full of kids jumping up and down, flashes of bright color going around and around.

Tease photo

Club trips build character

A dedicated teacher, a generous ski resort and parents willing to get up by 5 a.m. — that’s what it takes to pull off the Annual Rim Country Middle School Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC) ski trip to Sunrise Resort.

Tease photo

GCC moves forward

United board seeking accreditation

After years of struggle, the Gila Community College (GCC) board voted Thursday to cut the check and approve the vast amounts of information collected to start the accreditation process.

Tease photo

The two sides of the ‘fat’ story

The Healthy Foodie

Fats are bad!

Tease photo

Water customers take a stand

Payson Water Company (PWC) customers should pat water watchdog Tom Bremer on the back.

Prev