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Michele Nelson

Stories by Michele

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Beer – A health food?

The Healthy Foodie

My editor looked stressed.

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Program offers training for tasty careers

When asked, Victoria Van Camp said the New York table had the best food and presentation.

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Looking pretty: GCC’s new cosmetology program

Gila Community College aims to train more beauty makers at its Rim Country Cosmetology Academy — and the community can help.

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Payson Community Garden getting ready to sprout

Get ready for the 2015 Community Garden grand opening March 7.

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Fake singing – real joy

This year’s annual Rim Country Optimist and Rotary Club Lip Sync Contest drew acts from students to school administrators to, yes, even the judges.

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One final battle

Group honors service of veterans in hospice

Gustave “Frank” Berger hunched in his wheelchair while his wife, Ripples, held his trembling hand. Frank has been accepted into hospice care, with his oxygen bottle and a lifetime of memories — including service in the Navy in World War II and Korea.

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‘Angels all around me ...’

Grand Canyon clouds inspire Pine songwriter

John Carpino finally has his dream job — playing music all the time.

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Storms refill C.C. Cragin

Just two sizable winter storms have almost refilled the nearly empty C.C. Cragin Reservoir, according to the Salt River Project.

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Discover quinoa – nature’s super food

The Healthy Foodie

Always a sucker for delicious food, I jumped at the chance to attend a cooking demonstration on quinoa by local chef Gerardo Moceri. Catch was — he decided to cook in the Anytime Fitness Gym.

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Culinary Arts students learn how to make healthy tasty

Devon Wells plopped a huge cookie sheet down on the counter.

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It’s elementary: Jump Rope for Heart!

This week, both Payson Elementary School and Julia Randall Elementary held their annual Jump Rope for Heart event.

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Theater teacher reaches students with Renaissance Fair

Nick Pfeifle waited with Payson High School theater instructor Kathy Siler for the rest of the students at the gates of the Arizona Renaissance Festival.

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PHS band strong in regionals

The marching band uniforms might be put away, but the competitions continue.

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Schools fear impact

Board worries bills will hurt students

After listening to an alarming summary of new laws likely to cut funding and increase demands on public schools, newly elected Payson school board member Angie Prock asked a pointed question.

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Governor signs law ending AIMS test in schools

On Friday, Feb. 20 AIMS (Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards) breathed its last breath.

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Storms delight firefighters, skiers and reservoir watchers

The Salt River Project had predicted a wet February, but until Sunday evening, Rim Country had a fine coat of dry dust.

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Students offer teacher a fascinating lesson in role-playing

Alas, poor Pinland learns the bitter lessons of World War I

Payson High School history teacher Chad Gower admits he’s much more comfortable teaching from a strict lesson plan, but decided to color outside the lines to teach World War I. He ended up learning right along with his students.

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Federal judge overturns delay in deportations

A federal judge in Texas this week ruled that President Barack Obama’s executive order deferring deportations for three years for millions of people who have lived without documentation in the United States for years has cast a shadow of uncertainty over many seeking legal permission to stay.

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Stuck in limbo

Girl trapped immigration tangle

Maria sat in her chair, stylishly dressed after a day of school, which figures so largely in all of her dreams.

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Did Valentine chocolates hurt or help?

The Healthy Foodie

My family has this odd but endearing ritual when it comes to boxes of chocolates we have done since I was a child — we cut each piece of candy into three or four bits to distribute to those gathered when we open a box.

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Payson hosts successful academic decathlon

Its takes a village to put on a regional academic decathlon competition and the village of Payson responded to the need on Friday, Feb. 6 and Saturday, Feb. 7.

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Match made in heaven: Volunteers needed

Roger Kreimeyer felt stuck.

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Cross-country runners on long haul for kids’ health

Elite runners alarmed by childhood obesity

On Saturday afternoon, runners from the Race Across the USA team came through Payson.

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APS plans tall, metal power poles for Payson

APS will ultimately replace all the wooden poles dotting the landscape in Payson, but not necessarily with the towering metal poles that spurred protests along streets such as Bulla and Bobby Jones.

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50 years of losing nutrients

Nostalgia. Everything used to be better — music, the pace of life, you name it. But how about veggies?

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The annual Rim Country Middle School ski trip

The day had bright sunshine and bright snow that glittered like diamonds, but the brightest things were the smiles from the Rim Country Middle School students.

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Trident making wine from whatever’s at hand

The second winery in Gila County has started bottling wine for sale, but it’s not the typical made-from-grapes type of wine.

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College on quest for independence

Gila Community College board member Gerald McCreary made a second report on the college’s years-long journey to seek accreditation and independence at its board meeting on Feb. 5.

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Picking a cowboy hat remains western art form

Buffalo, beaver and wool – the hat makes the man

There’s a hierarchy of cowboy hats from felt to wool to furs from buffalo to beaver.

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Two casts, twice the fun for 'Harvey'

Complex set proves perfect setting for classic comedy

In a bold move, and because he had 24 strong thespian students, Thomas Walling of the Payson High School Theatre program, cast two completely different sets of students in the 12 roles of “Harvey.”

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Permission to question, proves key to learning

An interesting thing happened when Payson High School physics teacher Andrew Fiala showed his students evidence that fellow classmates had more gaps in their math knowledge than anyone knew — they asked questions.

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Hearing dampens claims water company overcharged

After months of accusations and days of hearings, turns out Payson Water Company only charged residents of Mesa del Caballo about $200 on water hauling charges in 2011, the evidence showed at the end of the latest hearing before an Arizona Corporation Commission judge.

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Herb inspires a battle between countries

The Healthy Foodie

Really, what won’t men do to improve their sex life?

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GCC seeks support for equitable workforce funds

Gila Community College Senior Dean Stephen Cullen is fed up.

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Schools in ‘dire straits’ for lack of state facilities money

Payson superintendent warns board district has no money for repairs

Seems the Arizona Legislature believes school facilities can be kept up simply by magic — or on a wing and a prayer.

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Superintendent blasts logic of proposed cuts

With the state about to force big cuts in “non-classroom” spending, Payson Unified School District Superintendent Greg Wyman would like the community to better understand the annual Auditor General’s Report, which details “classroom” and “non-classroom” spending.

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Memory, fear and polishing the rusty edges

A skier rediscovers her skis and her joy atop the fresh snow

I unearthed my old blue Dynastar skies out from the corner of the garage where I had stored them when I moved to Payson five years ago.

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Hashknife cowboy ‘rock stars’

“We came for the cowboys,” said Beth Miller to explain why she and her friend Terry Brown spent the day celebrating the Hashknife Pony Express.

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Gila Community College quest hits setback

Gila Community College hit its first roadblock to crawling out from under its provisional college status and onto the freedom of independence — enrollment.

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Why would anyone subject themselves to hot peppers?

The Healthy Foodie

I consider my daughter Brooke an acquired taste.

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Schools locked down during search for armed robber

Parents gave Payson Unified School District decidedly mixed reviews on how it handled communication regarding a lockdown at three of the five district schools on Jan. 20 as police searched the neighborhood for an armed robbery suspect.

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Mesa del resident battles water company

Struggles to prove Brooke Utilities overbilled for water hauling

Three years ago, J. Alan Smith filed a complaint with the Arizona Corporation Commission because Brooke Utilities shut off the water to his Mesa del Caballo home for six days in the summer of 2011.

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Mind your civics

State adds graduation test

Proving that it can pass legislation quickly after all, the Arizona Legislature rushed a new high school graduation requirement through in the first few days of the legislative session — the American Civics Bill.

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Getting over a childhood trauma – eating liver

The Healthy Foodie

A sweet, well-meaning Roundup reader stopped by to suggest a story — During the conversation, he mentioned that he had revived the health of his elderly canine companion with liver.

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Love affair with barbecue leads to Susie’s Q

Drive into Payson with the windows down and the divine smell of Susie’s Q Barbecue pecan-smoked meats waft into the car.

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District can’t find Spanish teacher

Payson Unified School District board members expressed amazement that the district can’t find a qualified Spanish teacher.

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Charges challenged

Seeking justice since 2012, Mesa del Caballo resident J. Alan Smith will have another day in front of Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) Administrative Judge Dwight Nodes at 10 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 15.

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Many health benefits of avocados

The Healthy Foodie

I’ve always had a bit of sibling rivalry with my sister. But don’t all siblings?

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The hollow promise of artificial sweeteners

The Healthy Foodie

There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

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The ebb and flow of the endless battle over Rim Country water in 2014

It’s always an endless battle over water in Rim Country and 2014 ended up quite the year.