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Michele Nelson

Stories by Michele

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School district scrambles to adopt controversial test

There’s a new test in town, and its name is AzMERIT — short for Arizona’s Measurement of Educa­tional Readiness to Inform Teach­ing.

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Election results finalized

The final vote count offered no surprises in the last few close races in Rim Country.

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Seeking a rock – forging a tribe

Writer discovers it’s not the destination but the journey that counts

My mom hopped out of the Jeep.

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Lessons straight from the front lines

Stacey Summers, a Payson Elementary School (PES) first-grade teacher, has a special place in her heart for veterans, but she had no idea her sympathy would be rewarded.

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Kids face challenges

Superintendent: Students have fierce international competition

In an impassioned speech to the Payson Tea Party, Payson Unified School District (PUSD) Superintendent Greg Wyman explained the 21st century challenges students face and how the district plans to address students’ futures.

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Is the sound the food in the fridge is making from ‘Jaws’ or ‘The Sound of Music’? It depends on the storage container used.

The Healthy Foodie

I open my fridge and instantly the theme from “Jaws” starts playing in my mind.

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The Payson Roundup Pressmen

Rim Country People

The trash can at the end of the behemoth machine bigger than a lot of living rooms filled up as pressmen Bob Earl and Donnie Severs dumped newspapers.

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Payson School Board still too close to call

Younker trails, but hundreds of ballots not yet counted

No one will call the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) school board race until Gila County finishes counting more than 4,000 outstanding ballots either mailed in late or turned in at the polls.

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Override wins

Schools garner support

Rim Country voters deserve a pat on the back.

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State adopts national test to replace AIMS

The waiting and guessing is over – the Arizona Department of Education on Nov. 3 picked a new test to replace the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test.

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Girls just wanna have run

The day of the Payson Girls on the Run (GOTR) 5K, Nov. 1, offered sunshine, smiles and tutus.

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Band, soccer team head to state finals

With the 4:30 p.m. sun in their eyes, the 40-plus member Pride of Payson Marching Band rocked the stadium at the state semi-finals competition at Mesquite High School in Gilbert on Nov. 1.

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Rim Country Republicans celebrate

Activists gather to watch results roll in

On election night in Rim Country, only the Republicans had a party at their headquarters. In comparison, the Democratic headquarters were quiet and dark - but judging by the election results they did not have much to celebrate.

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Are the benefits just hype? Grain-fed vs. grass-fed beef

The Healthy Foodie

Digging into a juicy steak from beef cattle grown on my aunt’s farm, my dad would always tell me, “This is good ol’, corn-fed Nebraska beef! Nothing better.”

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School’s creaky network easily overwhelmed

One kid streaming music nearly overloaded the system

Here’s the good news: Students and staff at the Payson Unified School District could get snazzy new Chromebook computers.

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Board approves police officers on campuses

With little discussion, the Payson Unified School District Board voted to approve a school resource officer and a mutual aid agreement with the Town of Payson at its Oct. 27 meeting.

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School calendar locked in for five years

The Payson Unified School District board voted to lock in a school calendar for the next five years — unless it needs to change.

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Board to save taxpayers money

The Payson Unified School District Board moved to agree to the sale and refunding of capital improvement bonds.

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Candidate vows to get ‘dark money’ answers

APS accountability – key issue for ACC candidate Holway

Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) candidate Jim Holway, received numerous rounds of applause for his position on holding APS accountable for spending dark money in the election at the Oct. 23 Payson Tea Party meeting.

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Strike up the band

An insider’s view of a Pride of Payson competition

The band stood at attention on the field, instruments poised to play.

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Community Garden celebrates harvest

About 60 people attended the annual Payson Community Gar­den potluck dinner.

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Who gets all the property taxes?

Voters won’t save much if they reject school override

As homeowners tear open their latest property tax notices, confusion abounds about how various ballot measures may affect property tax bills.

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Don’t toss those pumpkin seeds: Health and nutrition benefits are numerous

The Healthy Foodie

As a kid, I remember reaching into the cavern of my Halloween pumpkin and grabbing out fistfuls of slippery, slimy, stringy orange mounds of pumpkin seeds.

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Residents protest 40-foot, view-destroying APS poles

Bulla homeowners say property values hit by power lines

Get ready to lose your Rim views Rim Country residents — APS has decided to install 40-foot metal electrical poles.

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GCC solar: Maybe it’s a good thing it’s not up yet

At its meeting on Oct. 16, the Gila Community College board heard a familiar promise about its supposedly glittering solar future: “SunRenu promises construction will begin in 30 days,” said John Zilisch, GCC board member.

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Payson band wows judges

The Pride of Payson Marching Band scored the most points it has ever received in competition this year and took home three caption awards during the Northern Arizona University Band Day Saturday.

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Losing weight could save you from cancer

The Healthy Foodie

“What flax oil tastes the best?” asked the befuddled customer in the health care store, in the aisle where rumor, strange fads and good intention run head-on into overwhelming choices.

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Flu season already gets scary

A trip to Colorado gave a Payson family an enterovirus scare when their daughter fell suddenly ill with a fast-moving respiratory illness during fall break.

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Superintendent race boils down to one issue – or does it?

Garcia-Douglas confrontation spurs some surprising endorsements

Diane Douglas, the Republican candidate for State Superintendent, has one issue: abolishing Common Core in Arizona. David Garcia, the Democratic candidate, speaks on many issues: restoring education funding, filling empty teaching positions, improving outcome measures and addressing achievement gaps.

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Genial Payson School Board race poses stark choices

The Payson Unified School District Board race, pits Sheila DeSchaaf, a town planner, Angie Prock, an occupational therapist, and Darlene Younker, a retired facilities manager, against each other for two seats.

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Override boosts local economy

The $14.6 million Payson Unified School District maintenance and operations (M&O) budget buoys the local economy by employing 300 people who buy and rent homes, spend on local supplies, health care and construction, and purchase food at regional restaurants and stores.

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New ACC dust-up

Elections commission probes possible violations by candidates

The Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission (ACCEC) is considering a full investigation into the Arizona Corporation Commission campaigns of Tom Forese and Doug Little.

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‘Outsiders’ touches the heart

PHS thespians deliver strong performances

Sniffles erupted as the curtain fell on the Payson High School Theatre production of “The Outsiders.”

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Longhorn band qualifies for state finals

Pride of Payson’s 40-hour weeks pay off with victory

The Pride of Payson Marching Band’s run of 40-hour practice weeks paid off this weekend with a win at a regional competition that will earn Payson a chance to compete at the state festival in November.

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Chicken soup: Tastes like love in a bowl

The Healthy Foodie

I’ve always thought of chicken soup as a bowl of healing love.

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PUSD could save taxpayers money with bond

Board hears how restructuring may lower interest rate

The stars could be aligned to save taxpayers in the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) money.

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ACC candidate has eye on the future

Jim Holway, candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) board, would like voters to think about two things when they see his name: investing in the future of Arizona and finding common ground — two areas Holway spent his career building.

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Students beg candidates to support ‘extras’ to boost spirit

Contenders differ on override, Common Core

Still awash in the glow of Homecoming festivities, Payson students who sponsored a school board candidate debate pleaded with the contenders to keep school spirit alive and spread it throughout the community.

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Board debates young staff driver policy

Fearing drivers under 21 years old lack the experience to safely drive students in school vehicles, the Payson Unified School District Board (PUSD) debated changing its policy.

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Pride of Payson marching band first in competition

Taking first place in Division III at the Prescott Invitational, the Pride of Payson swept just about all of the caption awards, too.

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It’s great to be a Longhorn

The Disney spirit of fun and pride permeated every bit of Homecoming Week, culminating in a football game win.

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PUSD candidates contend

Two Payson school forums this week

Two seats — three candidates — for the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) Board.

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Dissecting the lines that separate us

PHS to present teen angst classic ‘The Outsiders’

“The Outsiders” play has sat on a shelf in the Payson High School (PHS) theatre department until just the right cast came along.

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PES a bright spot on test scores

The students at Payson Ele­mentary School (PES) scored higher in math, while holding steady in language scores this past year on the Stanford 10 test.

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Good news for kids

Grant to help homeless students

Payson Unified School District (PUSD) will receive $60,000 for the next three years to help homeless students prepare for college and careers after high school.

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Homecoming parade gets town ready for tonight's football game

Longhorns host Fountain Hills at 7 p.m. Friday

Friday morning's Payson High School homecoming parade kicked off a big day

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Despite wet weekend, fiddlers reign supreme

Some incredibly talented kids stole the show at the 44th anniversary of Old Time Fiddlin’ Contest on Sunday, Sept 28.

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All Shook Up: Choosing the right salt as difficult as choosing the right underwear

The Healthy Foodie

I’m standing in the grocery store looking at the wide range of salts on the shelf: pink Himalayan, black Hawaiian sea salt, Fleur de Sel, grey salt.

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Agony of defeat

Override failure would cause loss of 15% of teachers

If the override extension fails, 15 percent of Payson Unified School District (PUSD) teachers could lose their jobs. Each school site would be affected.

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Return of the huggable pine trees

The Fiesta Bowl Parade Committee specifically asked for the trees — so Cameron Davis, Payson Parks and Recreation director, said he would deliver.