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Michele Nelson

Stories by Michele

Police investigate school threat

Early on Election Day, Payson High School parents received a call out from Principal Brian Mabb reporting a threat against Payson High School.

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Incumbents and longtime residents win school races

Incumbents and long-time residents had a good night when it came to the elections for school boards in Payson and the Tonto Basin. The Payson Unified School District had three positions to fill.

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An ode to rhubarb and Aunt Eunice

The Healthy Foodie

I love family meals. I wax nostalgic connecting with my family’s food traditions. I did this at the breakfast table with my daughter, Crystal. We got to talking about the foods that made me think of the great women cooks in my family.

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How does your vote count?

A reader asked the Roundup to help him understand what his vote means in the presidential election.

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Massive fraud probed at Pine Water

Auditor general seeks missing $300,000

The Arizona auditor general continues to investigate hundreds of thousands of dollars missing from the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District accounts, according to sources questioned by the AG.

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Explosion engulfs apartment building

A massive gas explosion that blew some residents out of their shoes and “vaporized” their escape route engulfed a two-story apartment building at 201 E. Zurich St. at 8 p.m. Saturday.

All charges dropped; Walker case dismissed

Two days after Christmas last year, Linda Gist called the Gila County Sheriff’s Office to report that her wife, Linda Walker, “assaulted her and was now holed up in their residence.”

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Gas line explosion destroy Payson home

Five injured as fire consumes two-story building

A rupture in a gas line caused an explosion at 8:08 p.m. Saturday in Payson, which engulfed a two-story apartment building at 201 E. Zurich St., an apartment building behind Ace Hardware. The flames that consumed the building rose higher than the pine trees next to the address.

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Community Gardeners feast on bounty

After a year of hard work, Payson Community Gardeners gather each year to celebrate their harvest and good works. At the dinner, the gardeners had much to celebrate. “We donated 9,000 pounds to the food banks this year,” said Garden secretary Linda Croy.

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The trick to a real treat

Star Wars dominated the theme of the Town of Payson’s Annual Trunk or Treat extravaganza — guess everyone can’t hold back the excitement over the new Disney Star Wars movie slated to open on Dec. 15.

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Affordable Care Act premiums soar – but so do the subsidies

Insurance furor

The newswires have exploded with the news that premiums the federal Affordable Care Act exchanges will increase by an average of 25 percent nationally and as much as 119 percent in Arizona.

Gila County groups cooperate to offer vocational training

Men squeezed out of workforce

Recently, a local Rim Country auto repair shop bemoaned the lack of skilled workers. “Either they have the talent and fail drug tests or they don’t have the skill,” said the owner — who asked that his name be withheld.

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Phoenix Health Plans Medicare HMO leaving Arizona

On Nov. 1 a letter will arrive in the mailboxes of patients with Phoenix Health HMO stating the program will no longer be available in Arizona after Jan. 1, a company spokesperson confirmed.

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The insidious eggplant or better yet, the Mad Apple

The Healthy Foodie

I hated eggplant. I first experienced eggplant when I visited my family’s farm during summer vacation. My Aunt Eunice, baker of perfect pies, would make something I had to choke down to be polite — fried eggplant dipped in a cornmeal batter.

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Play pays tribute to beloved mentor

The first week of the 2016-17 Payson High School school year, Thomas Walling cast the play, “Is He Dead?”

School locked down after police warning

Woman’s ‘bad day’ spurs action, frightens parents

Teachers at Julia Randall Elementary School rushed to lock themselves and their students in classrooms, the library and other buildings after Payson Police advised the school to go on “lockdown.”

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Judge rejects Greer’s bid to drop three charges

Former Pine water, posse treasurer still facing 7 charges

Judge Timothy Wright denied efforts to dismiss three of the eight counts of fraud and conflict of interest against Mike Greer, the former treasurer for the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District and the Mounted Posse.

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Tonto Basin: So fun it’s scary

More ghouls. More ghosts. More good times. For the past 30-plus years, the residents of Tonto Basin have put on a Halloween Carnival at the school to raise money for playground equipment and other needs of the district. This year, they’re going Halloween happy.

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Pride of Payson Competes

Young band with a new director pulls it together

After a rough start to the 2017 marching band season, the Pride of Payson performed its heart out at the ASU Band Day on Oct. 15 — without any trips or starting the music on the wrong measure.

Moina Shaiq braves anger to plead for peace and understanding

Moina Shaiq has lived in the United States since 1978, but she originally came from Pakistan.

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Payson Head Start Program helps parents prepare for the worst

Little Trayton Harrison looked anxiously up at his mother Cinnamon. Volunteer Chris Herzig cooed to him, “It’s OK, I just need to get your finger wet so we can get its print.”

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Payson School Board candidates debate the issues

Religion, home schooling, after-school activities and special education spurred spirited exchange among Payson School Board candidates at a recent Kiwanis-hosted debate.

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To Bee or Not to Bee — what to do about the decimation of our pollinators

Here’s why I hate bees. Well, hated bees. I’m better now. But it started out with bees, bras and humiliation. I was 22. I had kind of a study date in the library. Cute guy — and an angry pollinator (the bee, not the guy).

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Payson's got Longhorn Pride for Friday's Homecoming celebrations

Brimming with hometown spirit, Payson got ready for Friday’s Homecoming game with a Thursday night bonfire and a joyful Friday Homecoming Parade.

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Pine school board election seeks to calm chaos

Three incumbents unopposed, but three newcomers seek two seats

The Pine-Strawberry Elementary School District rocked with controversy in June when its Superintendent/Principal Cody Barlow resigned due to ‘bullying and nepotism’ by the school board.

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Payson school candidates debate

At a recent Payson Tea Party meeting, four of the five candidates for the Payson Unified School District School Board answered questions on parent involvement in reading, school vouchers, home schooling and the function of a board member.

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Tonto Basin residents in race for School Board

In the scorching summer month of July, the Tonto Basin Elementary School governing board faced a heated crowd sizzling over the proposed increases in property taxes to cover the capital needs of the school.

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Dating debate grows over recent PHS presentation

By Friday, Oct. 7, reaction to the Roundup story (Dating talk flap: School assembly warns girls not to provoke ‘uncontrollable’ boys) on the Brad Henning relationship assembly had spread through the flames of social media reaching parents, students, graduates, former teachers and even other media outlets.

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The great and lustful caper for capers

How did I ever find out about capers? Not really sure — it’s a mystery. But capers are those tiny green pickled berries used in classic dishes like chicken piccata. So I set off on a wild caper to find out about these pungent little packs of flavor. Are they healthy?

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Councilor: Get creative, Payson

Payson Town Council member and small-business owner Chris Higgins has seen economic revitalization in progress and believes it’s possible for Payson.

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New hope blossoms for the homeless in Rim Country

When Joe Corrigan and church leaders throughout Payson heard about a 23-year-old homeless man who hung himself out of despair, it galvanized them to find a solution — Hope House.

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School candidate wants students better prepared

Payson native Shane Keith wants to give back

Shane Keith would like to give back to the town that has given him so much by serving on the Payson School Board.

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Cicada hitchhiker really hanging on

On Monday, Ross Roberson picked up a most unique hitchhiker — a cicada. What are cicadas? Those bugs that make that racket in the trees every summer until they disappear until it heats up again. They make their song by vibrating parts of their body.

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Sugar industry paid for ‘official’ positive research

My blood caramelized when I learned that research published in Journal of the American Medical Association indicates the sugar industry paid for research to give little weight to sugar’s role in cardiovascular disease.

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PHS assembly warns girls not to provoke "uncontrollable" boys

Dating talk flap

What does it say to Payson High School girls when 350 show up to a mandatory assembly on relationships during school hours, while only 25 PHS boys show up to a voluntary after-school session?

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Payson kids dive into water conservation session

Students delight in 10th Annual Water Festival

At the 10th Annual Water Festival on Sept. 27 at Green Valley Park, high school students who had gone to the festival when they were in fourth grade helped a new crop of fourth-grade students learn about the Payson watershed.

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New pitch for Payson: ‘Adventure where we live’

Marketing plan aims to boost Rim businesses

With new Payson leadership starting in January, the Collective Arizona business group has launched a marketing strategy based on Payson’s natural hometown charm and adventure.

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Treacherous drain on Main finally fixed

On Monday morning, the Town of Payson’s street department tore up the sidewalk in front of Coyote Auto.

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Greer trial set

Pine water board treasurer faces fraud, conflict charges

On Monday, Sept. 26, Mike Greer, the former treasurer of the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District and the Mounted Posse, had a case management hearing on the state’s case alleging fraud, theft and forgery amongst other charges.

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School board candidates gather

Four of the five Payson Unified School District school board candidates made their case for votes at the Sept. 20 Payson Tea Party meeting.

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Organized shoplifting

During the weekend of Sept. 17 and 18, the Payson Police had eight arrests.

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Kale, the celebrity of vegetables

The Healthy Foodie

Kale is the new ‘It’ veggie.

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‘Alice in Wonderland’ another triumph for Missoula Children's Theatre

This year, the Missoula Children’s Theatre brought “Alice in Wonderland” to Payson.

Judge lets woman out of health plan after doctor, hospital drop contract

Beat the system

A Rim Country resident has won the right to apply for health insurance mid-year on the Affordable Care Act Health Exchange — because the insurance she purchased didn’t cover local doctors.

APS makes case for rate hike

Utility wants 8 percent increase – new peak charges

It’s a challenge to run a multi-million-dollar electric company — especially when requesting a rate increase.

Pedestrian killed in Tonto Basin

Tragedy claims Tonto Basin man

On Monday, Sept. 19 at 9:28 a.m., Bethany Cheney, a Tonto Basin resident, hit and killed Ted Morton as he jogged along Highway 188.

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PHS tech teacher Bud Evans receives Innovation Award

Payson High School’s technology and computer systems instructor and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) adviser Bud Evans received the Innovation Award from his peers around the state on Aug. 25 at the Arizona Business Educators Association and FBLA Teacher Leadership training conference.

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Arizona Lawmakers push for re-election

On a campaign stop at the Payson Tea Party during a whirlwind tour of Sedona, Cottonwood and Payson, Arizona Senator Sylvia Allen, Representative Brenda Barton and Representative Bob Thorpe laid out their case for re-election.

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Payson High School students learn of options after graduation

On Friday, Sept. 9, Payson High School students spent the morning learning what it takes to make the next step after high school.

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Is cheese or wine better? Such a dilemma!

I once dated two men at the same time. Hardest thing I’ve ever done because I’m a monogamous kind of gal. But each of these guys had something cool about them. Mike was intellectual and cultured. Bob was adventurous and a great cook.