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Michele Nelson

Stories by Michele

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Good, dirty fun

677 participate in Monster Mudder

The third annual Mogollon Monster Mudder 5K Run started at the parking lot with cars as the contestants.

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Wine of all kinds has healed throughout the ages

The Healthy Foodie

This past weekend, while wandering around Pine covering the Summer Festival and craft fair for the paper, I ran across the new tasting room for Trident Winery.

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Schools struggle to cope with drug use

At recent meetings hosted by the Payson Police Department on the heroin problems in Rim Country, members of the public appealed to the schools to provide a solution.

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A mother triumphs over heroin addiction

It took three weeks to sit down to the interview with Lindsey, but any working mother would understand the reasons — a sick child, a forgotten doctor’s appointment, a call to cover a shift.

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Payson FFA racks up awards at state conference

Small, but mighty would serve as a motto for Payson High School’s FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) program.

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Chopper saves hiker

Man lost for days without food or water

On Tuesday, June 2, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Public Safety collaborated to rescue a 58-year-old Tucson man who had survived three days without water on the Arizona Trail.

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Fire restrictions imposed

Despite rain, dry fuels spur ban on smoking and fires

So it begins.

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Blustery storm drops tree on Star Valley house

Normally bone-dry June brings rain, wind

A rare, cold June storm blew into Rim Country on Thursday, surprising residents and sending at least one tree crashing into the roof of a Star Valley home.

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PUSD board grapples with foreign exchange student tuition

Each year, the Payson Unified School District board mulls over what to do with foreign exchange students — this year, the discussion fell on May 26.

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From father to son and back again — Lowery’s

Window and door shop in second generation of family ownership

Sitting on a counter in the Lowery’s showroom is a picture of a tow-headed little boy looking out the window of a pickup truck.

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Trust + leadership = life-changing event

Kaycee Simpson admits it takes her awhile to learn to trust someone.

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Now, that’s talent

Twenty-one acts took to the gym floor at Julia Randall Elementary the last day of school to celebrate the talent of the student body.

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Homeless, displaced youngsters need a helping hand

Donations key to children’s success

Alarmed by the rising number of teens without enough support to finish their schooling, a collaboration of church leaders and caring Rim Country community members joined together in 2009 to create Payson Assisting Displaced Students.

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Lowly cabbage has many health benefits

The Healthy Foodie

My grandma loved cooking Czech food — kolaches, pork chops, and potatoes of all kinds, but the dish that takes me back to being with her has to be sweet and sour cabbage with dumplings.

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Pain, grief surge after manslaughter conviction

It took the jury in the Mike Voden trial a little more than four hours to come back with their verdict: guilty of manslaughter.

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Humane Society executive director says a fond farewell

After five years of serving the animals and people of Rim Country, Sarah Hock, executive director of the Humane Society of Central Arizona will step down to work with PetSmart Charities in Phoenix.

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Wet May dampens high risk, but hot spell now setting in

Well, it’s arrived — the hot, dry weather that heralds the beginning of the wildfire season.

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Six foods studies say make you happier

The Healthy Foodie

I’m a foodie. Food makes me happy.

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Teachers honored

Payson Unified School District has initiated a recognition ceremony for those employees that have served for a decade or more.

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Kids need volunteers

Every day after school, Payson Community Kids offers children a safe place to play, do art, have a snack and hang out with friends — even teens enjoy going — but volunteers make it all work.

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Graduates won’t stop believing

It’s not so easy to stand in front of 120 of your classmates who have watched you for 12 years, cry and laugh, goof off and be serious, succeed and fail to share words of wisdom.

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Treatment can restore lives

Counselors strive to help addicts

Monika Weldon, the regional program director for Southwest Behavioral, has a frank attitude about addiction and mental health.

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Mission of mystery A-4 jet at Payson Airport revealed

The calls have come in since the Roundup reported on a mysterious A-4 jet’s touch and go landing at the Payson Airport on May 5.

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Dog shot to death in yard

Intruder uses pellet gun

Someone snuck onto Suzy and Chris Tubbs’ property on Tyler Parkway Monday night and shot their dog, Ritzi, who was inside her dog run at the time.

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Pepper spray, threat riles school

On Friday, May 15, Payson Unified School District illustrated that its text alerts to parents work great.

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Forest Service takes aim at trash

After each major summer holiday, the Tonto Forest around Payson looks like a dump.

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JRE revamps food service – wins national recognition for district

Julia Randall Elementary students with help from staff, took matters into their own hands requesting a healthier school to win recognition from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Arizona Department of Education through the Healthier U.S. Schools Challenge.

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Payson seniors stage sorrowful plays

In their final shows as Payson High School thespians, this year’s graduating seniors ambitiously produced five shows.

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Picking the tastiest plants

The Healthy Foodie

It’s nearly June 1 and my garden beckons.

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Snow in May! El Niño may yield wet year

Pine wakes to snowscape

Pine residents and musical directors Daria Mason and Mike Buskirk woke up to find snow on the ground Saturday, May 16.

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These kids rock!

Clutching their egg cartons, nine groups of excited third-grade students followed their teacher to different stations to learn about minerals, igneous, sedentary and metamorphic rocks from the Payson Rimstones Rock Club.

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Art night at JRE

For the first time, Julia Randall Elementary had a Fine Arts Night dedicated to all the fifth-grade artists.

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Angel donor gives students the gift of discovery

What happens when an angel donor, Biosphere 2, the Arizona Museum of Natural History, middle school students and the Sweet Tomatoes restaurant mix it up?

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Pipes burst

Main Street flooded

Aging Payson water mains burst this week, flooding Main Street.

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‘Angels who have earned their wings’

Nursing students celebrate

An old saying describes nurses: “Angels are nurses who have earned their wings.”

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Maybe kids are right – but I’ll never tell them

The Healthy Foodie

Mothers’ Day gets me to reminiscing about the days when my kids were babies and I freaked out about everything — including my obsessive efforts to protect them from germs. I vacuumed every day, determined to keep toxins at bay as they crawled around on the floor.

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Despite rain, fire season looms

Never mind the recent rains — forest conditions now bear a dismaying resemblance to the fire seasons that included the massive Wallow and the Rodeo-Chediski fires, according to Payson Ranger District fuels specialist William Dudley.

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‘Broadway’ concert a smashing hit

The Payson Choral Society’s “On Broadway” show featured songs from favorite shows, soloists, special acts and the joyful choir that delivered a foot-stomping, hand-clapping concert.

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Payson FBLA students move on to nationals

After competing against a slew of state Future Business Leaders of America students in Tucson, four Payson students will move onto National Leadership Conference this summer in Chicago.

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Mysterious jet aborts landing at Payson Airport

The roar of a jet engine Tuesday rattled residents and sent many scrambling outside to scan the skies to identify the mysterious sound.

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Damp weather delays fire season

It’s May. It’s wet. It’s cold.

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Crazy about color

Runners galore, some even in tutus, came out to support the Payson High School Adventure Club running a 5-kilometer race at the same time getting doused in multiple puffs of color.

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Saxophone show delights Payson audience

In a treat for the ears, eyes and mind, the Tonto Community Concert Association presented SAXational, by Rob Verdi for its last concert of the season.

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Earth Day brings high school and elementary students together

What could be more perfect on Earth Day than a lesson in how plants grow?

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New principals hired

But teachers leaving in droves

Payson Unified School District Superintendent Greg Wyman now has his full leadership team in place for the upcoming school year, although teachers continue to leave the district.

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Compassion on a dirt road

This year, the success of the Lorraine Cline Memorial Poker Run exceeded all expectations — even the weather chipped in.

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ATV rollover mars charity event

For the first time in its seven-year history, the annual Lorraine Cline Poker Run had a mishap.

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Tutors for homeless kids

The McKinney-Vento grant position filled by Joe Sanchez to help homeless students graduate and move onto post-secondary education will receive a boost from paid tutors.

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Puttering along with Bird Men of Pine

Bird whisperers need help for migratory bird count

As soon as Rick Heffernon and Brian Ison drove onto the Girl Scout campgrounds in Pine, all five senses came alive.

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Ceremony honors far-reaching service of four Payson vets

Service included Vietnam, 82nd Airborne Division, Guam

Payson Hospice Compassus Marketing Director Becky Friend stood in the background as former Marine Joe Juharos officiated a ceremony recognizing four veterans at the Frontier House in mid-April.