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Michele Nelson

Stories by Michele

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The importance of a living trust

If a person owns more than $50,000 of property in Arizona, it’s time to consider a living trust, explained Gene Adams president and founder of Alpha Omega Family Services.

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John and Kathy Tiautschold Heroes of Education

The Payson Unified School District board recognized John and Kathy Tiautschold as Heroes of Education at its Jan. 9 meeting.

Production problems with Milk Ranch Wells

Milk Ranch wells fixes expensive

The production numbers for the three Milk Ranch wells in the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District between 2014 and 2016 show radical swings over three years.

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Raffle to Benefit Senior Center in Payson

To celebrate love, Valentine’s Day and its customers, the Senior Center’s Trinkets and Treasures thrift shop will raffle off a Michael DeAngelo wedding dress.

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Subversive hemp - in Arizona?

So poor, pleasant, hard-working Hemp goes to the store, without his troublesome brother Pot. The storeowner glares at him. The security guards follow him around. Poor Hemp.

Residents alarmed about lead in water

National report raises alarm but local expert finds few problems

Reports documenting unhealthy levels of lead in drinking water nationwide has local residents concerned.

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Possible Weekend Weather

The National Weather Service has predicted a colder, wetter storm to pass over the Rim Country and points north and east starting Thursday then continuing through to Monday

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Cranberries: Good for you, but not for environment

The Healthy Foodie

Everyone has a good holiday cooking goof up story, right? Well, so do I. In this one, I’ve changed the names to protect my familial relationships because, well, holidays are stressful enough!

Milk Ranch well fix, Pine water board grapples with costly options

The Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District governing board on Dec. 15 laid plans to find solutions to the turbidity glitches that have plagued the Milk Ranch wells since they were drilled.

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Fraud probe grows

The auditor general continues to investigate the alleged embezzlement of money from the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District and Sunny Mountain Realty, a complex and still mysterious case involving at least $724,937 in forged checks.

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A desperate search for help for her mentally ill son ends in a terrible attack

Vera Eccles woke in confusion, with the taste the blood in her mouth. Struggling out of sleep, she groggily realized the blood came from knife wounds. Her 53-year-old son Jeff was stabbing her.

Enrollment surged in 2016

Secretary of Health Sylvia M. Burwell this week announced 400,000 new consumers have signed up for the federal health insurance Marketplace in the 39 states that use the Marketplace for 2017.

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Proposed class divides school board

A vote to initiate and invest budget dollars in a class to teach Rim Country Middle School students about social enterprise split the Payson Unified School District Governing Board.

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Quigtone Music has new location

A year and a half after opening, Quigtone Music has moved from sharing a tiny space with Accounting For You, to a spacious store in the Bashas’ shopping center.

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Anderson Dry Cleaners helps families

As customers scurried into the Anderson Dry Cleaners to pick up clean-for-the-holiday clothes, a Christmas tree in a corner of the store had packages neatly wrapped and waiting for the seven families who would receive Christmas cheer from Anderson Cleaners and PADS.

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More on the way? Storm forecast results muddled

Expect rain. Expect snow. But the National Weather Service models aren’t quite sure how much of which we’ll get on the New Year’s weekend.

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Holidays used to mean ‘It’s Diet Time’

The Healthy Foodie

When I stopped growing up only to start growing out, the holidays became synonymous with dieting. I’d tell myself, “No pie — it’s fattening.” “No stuffing — goes straight to the thighs.”

Big fuss but very little change

Controversial Common Core standards tweaked

Touting the new Arizona English Language Arts and Mathematics Standards as the cure for Common Core, State Superintendent Diane Douglas recently announced the adoption of new standards.

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School choirs join forces to celebrate

In his first concert, new choral director Justin Leon showed off all five of his choirs on Dec. 16.

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RCMS students honored for Longhorn spirit

Teachers of Rim Country Middle School honored several students on Dec. 14 at Chaparral Pines.

Minimum wage hike will affect schools

The Payson Unified School District board must change its hourly salary schedule to reflect the changes required by Proposition 206.

Class name changed for funding

The Payson Unified School District board voted to change the name of the Career- Technical class in marketing to reflect an emphasis on hospitality rather than sports and entertainment.

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Cosmetology grad credits program

Visit the Borree Spa & Salon in Payson to work with Isabella Barr, a homegrown, home-trained cosmetologist.

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Fats – are they good until they’re not?

The Healthy Foodie

I woke up at 2:30 this morning, stressing out about this column. I had no ideas and I had a deadline for the health page.

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Teachers beat average on AzMERIT

The Payson Unified School District board decided to recognize the teachers whose students scored 10 percent higher than the state average on their AzMERIT scores at its Dec. 12 meeting.

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Amazing paraprofessional Lisa Tan honored by Brian Mabb

Brian Mabb, principal at Payson High School, took a moment during the board meeting on Dec. 12 to recognize paraprofessional Lisa Tan.

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School bands stage Christmas show with new directors

For two band directors having their first official concerts at Payson Unified School District, Robert Pollock and Kyle Headstream put on an excellent show.

Grant to aid science teaching in county

The Gila County superintendent’s office has won a $401,000 grant to train teachers to teach the physical sciences, one of only three such grants statewide.

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Tonto tribe gathers donations

For more than a decade, the Tonto Apache Tribe has quietly collected toys, household goods and clothing throughout the year to spread the holiday cheer to some of the needier tribes around the state.

Storm expected to be short-lived

It’s been so mild this week one hardly needs a jacket. But don’t put away the winter clothes just yet — the National Weather Service says a storm from the Pacific will hit us today, Dec. 16.

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Community college needs new board member

Gila Community College board member John Zilisch’s term will end on Dec. 31. Problem is, no one ran to fill his seat. So, the Gila County Superintendent’s Office has put out a request for anyone in the GCC District 1 voting area interested in the job to throw his or her hat in the ring.

Election nightmares

When Bob Horne heard that a friend’s 5-year-old daughter could not sleep because of the presidential election, he’d had enough.

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Internet ‘news’ that tequila is healthy a hoax

The Healthy Foodie

Under the category of fake news — a video floated by on my Facebook feed, “A single shot of tequila a day has some surprising health benefits.”

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Movie producer urges students to sacrifice for dreams

Who could imagine a successful Hollywood producer would want to speak to Payson High School students? Computer instructor Bud Evans could.

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Julia Randall Elementary students delighted parents at Annual Christmas Concert

Christmas rocks

At one point during the fourth graders’ Julia Randall Elementary School 2016 Holiday Concert, kids grabbed blow-up guitars to rock out for the song “Rock the Holly.”

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PES concert delivers a riot of cute

On Tuesday, Payson Elementary School students rocked the Payson High School Auditorium with Christmas songs from the traditional to the humorous.

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Small-town Christmas Shines at Payson’s Electric Light Parade

The 2016 APS Electric Light Parade had 41 blazing entries that warmed the chilly evening.

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Charities play Santa Claus for families

The Mazatzal Casino ballroom buzzed with energy, happy children’s voices, cheers and lots of laughs on Saturday, Dec. 3.

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Many Julia Randall Elementary students aced tough, new AzMERIT test

Payson celebrates smart kids

The Payson Unified School District board honored 51 third- through fifth-grade students for performing above expectations on the AzMERIT test at its Nov. 14 meeting.

Help free human rights prisoners

Ever imagined a letter could free a human rights prisoner? Payson Amnesty International member Bob Horne said letters written have made a difference.

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Follow the money - AZ superintendent changes tune

After riding into the state superintendent of education position on one issue — getting rid of Common Core academic standards — Diane Douglas has decided it’s all about the money.

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Volunteers ready to help neglected, abused children

David Morrison, took his oath to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate on Nov. 17.

Blue Cross Blue Shield tries to answer questions

Blue Cross Blue Shield will serve as the only health insurance provider for Gila County residents who need to purchase an individual plan off of the federal affordable health care exchange.

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Increased limits for some tax credits

Arizona taxpayers may increase their tax credit donations to nonprofits and foster care organizations, but not to public schools and the military family fund relief.

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An iris by any other name – is Payson

Sallie Lowman and other gardeners from the High Country Garden Club got dirty for a good cause — planting irises at the base of the trees lining the Town of Payson path near Main Street.

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Beware of scams - read fine print on Medicare insurance policies

Beware calls promising a Medicare program that sounds too good to be true. “The government’s Medicare agency never calls beneficiaries asking to check their Medicare number, birth date, etc.,” said local health insurance agent Tom Russell. “Medicare contacts its beneficiaries by mail.”

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Myth of food, family & healing – or maybe there’s something there

As a kid, I remember getting dressed up to eat Thanksgiving dinner. I hated it.

Payson school district ponders specifics of civics test

The Payson Unified School District Governing Board had concerns about the mandatory civics test needed for graduation at its meeting on Nov. 14.

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Business students serve up a fundraiser

The line of high school students anxious to snarf up Gerardo’s delicious pizza and pasta snaked out the door.

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Pine Water audit suggests changes

An independent audit gave the fraud-plagued Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District a long financial to-do list.