Also vows to avoid tax hikes
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey made increased education funding his top priority in his recent state of the state speech. Easier said than done.
Foster parent’s success adds a rare bright spot
The controversial, long-suffering attempt to return the Mexican Grey Wolf to the wild continues to rack up victories — and setbacks.
As Republicans in Congress gear up for a quick repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a chorus of local activists have ramped up their objections.
Payson residents showed up this week at a hearing to urge the U.S. Forest Service to protect Fossil Creek — while still making it easier to get to the stream from Rim Country.
Studies show fire managers caught between too much and too little
The task of saving the forest — and places like Payson — keeps getting more complicated.
State ranks worst in nation for elections
Bad news, brothers and sisters: Arizona ranks dead last when it comes to perceptions of fair and open elections.
A jackknifed semi backed up traffic on the Beeline Highway Sunday, according to the Department of Public Safety.
The National Weather Service expects the New Year’s storm to sprinkle another 1-4 inches of snow above 6,000 feet and perhaps 4-8 inches of snow above 8,000 feet — but bring only rain to lower elevation areas like Payson.
Health coverage for 600,000 residents at stake
If President-elect Donald Trump follows through on a vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it could strip away insurance for 600,000 Arizonans, take $3 billion out of the state’s economy and blow a $600 million hole in the state budget, according to studies and statements released by health care advocacy groups.
Thirsty West enjoys nearly normal weather
A series of big winter storms has finally boosted the snowpack in California and the Rocky Mountains to near normal — for the first time in years.
Rep. Paul Gosar, who represents Rim Country in Congress, applauded President-elect Donald Trump selection of Ryan Zinke, a one-term Montana congressman and former Navy SEAL, as his nominee for secretary of the interior, with charge over millions of acres of federal land.
But trade war or health cuts could threaten state growth
Arizona should accelerate its growth in the next year — unless the Trump administration manages to get into a trade war with Mexico, according to an analysis by economists from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
Reports tackle rescue of poorly funded system
Finding more money for perhaps the worst-funded school system in the country could move to the top of the political agenda in 2017 — although any significant change faces huge challenges.
What’s a chub, anyway? Specifically, should the federal government try to protect two different species of interbreeding native, trout-like fish — or give up trying to tell them apart.
The latest plan to manage Fossil Creek would allow a limited number of off-road vehicles no wider than a Jeep to use the road down from Strawberry, re-route the Fossil Springs Trail and ban swimming at the waterfall.
Payson got its water just in time. That’s one selfish conclusion Payson boosters could draw from a series of dismaying studies on the water supply in the Colorado River, which provides water for roughly 50 million people and 4 million acres of farmland.
Let it burn, baby, burn. That might make a great new Forest Service motto, according to the latest research on managing wildfires.
The percentage of people living in poverty and the share of the population without medical insurance continues to fall — although it remains far above the national average in Gila County.
Heroes dwell amongst us still
John Naughton was a gung-ho young Marine Corps sergeant running an artillery unit when the North Vietnamese shells began to rain down on the encircled defenders of Khe Sanh.
I rise early on deadline day, shower hastily, scrape the ice from the windshield and rush down the hill on Airport Road, having forgotten to write anything for the editorial page last night before dashing off to teach my writing class.
Average global temperatures are poised to set another record in 2016, including Arizona temperatures 3-4 degrees (F) above the long-term average.
Efforts to make public safety workers’ pensions solvent without bankrupting cities and counties took a body blow last week
Don’t expect many changes this year when it comes to state policy —but do expect a big difference in relationship with the federal government.
I sat and watched the moonrise my father may have seen, out the window of his B-17. The supermoon rose lurid behind the trees.
Tiger trout, Rim Country’s latest fishing sensation, are thriving in Woods Canyon Lake.
Controlled burns poser trade-offs
Land managers need to burn soon — and often — if they’re going to save the forest and the communities they surround.
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park will soon have a refuge stopover and breeding ground for migrating Monarch butterflies, thanks to a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) awarded the Southwest Monarch Study based in Chandler.
Former Jerome Mayor Nikki Bagley pulled ahead of incumbent Sen. Sylvia Allen in early, mail-in voting, but fell short by the time the county elections offices counted all the ballots on Wednesday.
Well, here’s a strange little case. Northern Arizona University forestry professor Stephen Dewhurst sued the U.S. Forest Service for so thoroughly ignoring its own rules in awarding the contract for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative that he can’t possibly explain it to his students.
Incumbents Barbara Underwood and Shirley Dye appeared to win re-election to the Payson School Board, with newcomer Shane Keith, a 2009 graduate of Payson High School, rounding out the top three finishers, with about two-thirds of the ballots counted.
Incumbents holding onto seats by razor thin margin
Mail in ballots on Tuesday seemed to give Former Jerome Mayor Nikki Bagley a stunning upset victory of incumbent Sen. Sylvia Allen, the president pro-tem of the Senate and a former Navajo County supervisor.
Republicans make nearly clean sweep
Republicans appeared poised on Tuesday to effectively take over Gila County elective offices, with the apparent re-election of Sheriff Alan Shepherd and the surprising upset of two democratic incumbents on the board of supervisors.
Measure to raise property taxes ahead by huge margin
Voters in Pine and Strawberry gave strong support for a property tax increase to prevent layoffs at the Pine-Strawberry Fire District.
Payson lovers last week unleashed a campaign intended to jump-start Payson’s economic recovery with a jolt of positive energy.
The Forest Service will burn more than 3,000 acres this week in the Payson and Young ranger districts in an effort to thin dangerously overgrown forests.
The Payson Unified School District has spent every penny of a voter-approved, $1.2 million budget override on teachers and classrooms, Finance Director Kathy Manning reported last week.
Mexican gray wolves have proved willing to raise pups born to other parents in captivity and slipped into their dens.
Dark money groups dominate
Arizona Public Service has announced it will spend $1 million to get three Republicans elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission — including Commissioner Bob Burns who has crusaded to force the company to reveal its spending two years ago to elect two of the incumbent commissioners.
The Payson School Board celebrated the 63 “highly performing” Rim Country Middle School students, based on scores on the tough AzMERIT test.
Junk it. Fix it. That summarizes the difference between Senator John McCain and challenger Ann Kirkpatrick, in an expensive race that could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. The two candidates clashed sharply on health care reform, specifically the Affordable Care Act.
Pine water cash flows in then out again
The cash flows in — and out again. The Pine-Strawberry Water Improvement District pulls in about $2.6 million a month — but spends about $2.4 million, according to the September monthly financial report presented at this week’s board meeting.
The snow (headed) birds have definitely returned to the Green Valley lakes — wide-ranging, migratory bald eagles voting with their wings against a winter in Canada or Alaska.
A 2.5-degree increase in average temperatures across North America has resulted in an increase in wildfires that consumed an estimated 16,000 square miles of forest, according to the latest effort to tease out the effects of climate change on wildfires.
McCain, Kirkpatrick debate
Sen. John McCain’s defense during a debate with Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick of the Senate’s refusal to fill a U.S. Supreme Court vacancy has blown up into a national furor.
Sen. McCain defends delay in decision to reverse endorsement of Trump
Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick has done her best to lash Senator John McCain to Donald Trump’s floundering fortunes, without great success.
I stood on a tapestry of maple leaves, saturated, chromatically content. I murmured a little prayer to chlorophyll, sunlight, supernovae and anthocyanin. I’d found my maple grove — and impressed my bride. I had feared I would not find this spot — but now heaved a sign of relief watching her shuffle through the red leaves.
Payson Unified School District this week honored scores of high school students who aced the AZMerit test, the state’s new, rigorous standards test.
A chaotic presidential race, a sprinkling of controversies and a strong challenger may this year test Senator Sylvia Allen’s grip on her District 6 seat, which runs from Flagstaff to the Arizona-New Mexico border.
Two new fires will generate smoke, but also forest benefits
Controlled burns from more than 3,000 acres of new fires will generate smoke throughout Rim Country throughout the week of Oct. 17-20, according to Tonto National Forest fire specialists.
Incumbent Republican representatives Brenda Barton (R-Payson) and Bob Thorpe (R-Flagstaff) this year face a long-shot challenge from a single Democrat — former school superintendent and long-time naval reservist Alex Martinez.