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Michele Nelson

Stories by Michele

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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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Kale, the celebrity of vegetables

The Healthy Foodie

Kale is the new ‘It’ veggie.

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Organized shoplifting

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

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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One more crash pushes Pine Fire to the limit

On Sept. 15, a young woman lost control of her SUV and crashed into the guardrail a few miles from the Highway 87 and 260 turnoff on top of the Rim.

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ASU Space & geology students bond at Camp Tontozona

The final frontier

Ric Alling watched with bated breath as a freshman from ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) held the laser pointer and turned toward the Andromeda constellation.

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Payson Ranger District loses a great recreation officer

Muise moves to Washington state

The Payson Ranger District has lost a great resource — Recreation Officer Chelsea Muise. She moved onto Washington state to serve as recreation manager for the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument in late August.

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A total loss of his motor home - but he's grateful

“Of course it had to happen on 9/11,” said Don Haynie, owner of a motor home that caught on fire. “It was a catastrophic motor home fire. But Sheriff’s Deputy Ridge Halenar drove by and saw the smoke.”

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Heck of a good time at Gila County Fair

Victoria Rutherford couldn’t help but crow about her Grand Champion award from the Northern Gila County Fair for her Cornish rooster, Sweetie.

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Much ado about very little: Arizona school standards get tweaked

The Arizona Department of Educa­tion and its committee of educators has poured over the K-12 Common Core standards and come up with a new set.

AHCCS coverage for kids

Surviving a Sick System

On Sept. 1, Arizona started to support children who qualify for KidsCare after a six-year hiatus.

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I know nothing about food preservation – nothing!

So, I thought I had an adequate knowledge of food preservation. I mean, don’t you just throw veggies and fruits in the freezer? I feel pretty confident with water bath canning, yet at least one jar doesn’t seal in each batch.

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Rim Country sixth wettest monsoon since 1981

Rim Country has seen its sixth wettest monsoon since 1981. A normal monsoon in Payson delivers 5.45 inches of rain. This year, the area has received an average 8.88 inches.

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Arizona public has a chance to weigh in on school standards

During the 2014 election race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, much ado was made over the core subject standards for K-12 education.

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Pack It Out may set trash record

This Labor Day, the Forest Service and its volunteers will fan out through the forest to educate people on the Pack It Out program designed to collect campers’ trash.

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Missoula Children’s Theater back in Payson

Do not follow the White Rabbit’s mistake that made him mutter, “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”

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Thomas Walling - A life of service

On Tuesday, friends of Thomas Walling, the Payson Unified School District Auditorium Director, found him in his apartment. He had passed away.

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Pine water snafu costs customer

Kurt Richardson thought the $3,200 quoted to him would cover the cost of a meter to get water to his retirement home in Pine. Not so.

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Pine’s Trident winery getting into the spirit(s)

Crushing grapes

On a hot August day, 2.2 tons of grapes sat in Ray Stephens’ driveway. “We can make 150 to 175 gallons of wine out of 1.2 tons of grapes,” said the owner of Trident Winery.

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Foodie readers respond with fun, help

I sent out an appeal to hear from my beloved readers and they got back to me! I decided these tidbits gave me so much joy I couldn’t keep them to myself — despite a long list of topics to cover.

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Sticker shock for Pine water customers

Heavy water users face staggering rise in bills

Two customers came to express their outrage, confusion and shock about the water bills they received from the Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District at the Aug. 18 board meeting.

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PUSD Students hold band camp anyway

This summer, past and current Payson Unified School District students, Molly and Maddie Beier, Josh Shaw, Sabrina Bonn, Colin Nossek, Trace Wallace and Kara VanZile, took it upon themselves to run a band camp before school started.

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Rim Country Mountain Bike Association partners with trails app

Score another win for Michael Bonnette and the Rim Country Mountain Bike Association — now recognized as the mountain bike club of the Rim Country area on MTB Project’s website and application.

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Goosing Traffic: Rush hour jam – Payson style

Roundup reporter Michele Nelson was rushing her daughter to school when she got stuck in traffic. She honked. The geese honked. Standoff. So she took a photo while she waited at the goose crossing — counting her blessings and enjoying the Payson lifestyle.

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Community garden hosts food preservation class

Have bushels of beans? How about pecks of peppers? Tons of tomatoes? Well, the Payson Community Garden has a class for you.

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Clowns, Camels & Cowboys, Payson Rodeo Parade has it all

The annual Rodeo Parade draws folks back home to watch friends and family on floats or horses, in cars or on foot.

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Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District struggling

Board won’t seek restitution from treasurer

The Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District continues to struggle with the fallout from the bombshell indictment of former treasurer and board member Mike Greer.

Payson School Board balks on transgender

Federal policy recognizes students' gender identity rights

The Payson Unified School District Board on Aug. 22 decided to punt on a suggested policy that would have kept in place practices already followed by the district regarding transgender students and bathrooms.

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Tonto Basin gets new superintendent

Chad Greer, new superintendent of the Tonto Basin Elementary School District, rode into town just in time to wrangle with angry comments from frustrated community members over a property tax increase for the school.

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Candidates seek seats on area school boards

The names are in and the race will start for the three Rim Country school district boards — after the Aug. 30 primary election.

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Payson class offers lifeline for the mentally ill

Families with children or other family members suffering from mental illness can learn how to help their loved one through the Family-to-Family class with the Payson affiliate of the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI).

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Break in the weather

Get ready for more intensely beautiful sunsets as the forecast predicts a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms throughout the weekend.

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Supervisor Pastor faces primary challenge

Supervisor Mike Pastor faces longtime challenger Tim Humphrey for the District 2 seat in the primary.

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Tonto Basin fuel snafu

Mistake at the pump puts engines at risk

If Tonto Basin residents purchased diesel at the Tonto Basin Marketplace during the first week of August and their vehicle is acting strange — get it to a repair shop immediately.

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Too much zucchini in garden – what can a gardener do?

It’s just about time for the annual zucchini inundationini. I’m girding my loins — only, male friends tell me I don’t have loins. Doesn’t matter to me. It still sounds good.

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Preschool options dwindle

Recently, another of the dwindling preschool options for Rim Country parents quietly closed — Karen’s Kare Bears.