A bill sponsored by Rim Country’s state legislative delegation that would have required federal law enforcement personnel to register with local sheriffs and turn over half of their fines to the counties has died in committee.
Rim Country senator pushes bill to put propositions back on ballot every eight years
The Senate Elections Committee on a party-line vote has approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Chester Crandell (R-Heber) that would require voters to re-approve ballot measures every eight years.
A bill to restore gas tax money for road projects to towns and counties has moved past the House Appropriations Committee en route to a floor vote.
Republicans successfully defanged a voter initiative on election reform last week, when Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill that repealed a bundle of election reforms that slipped through the Legislature at the end of last year’s session.
PUSD has no money for buildings, buses
The state Legislature has made it all but impossible for Payson schools to repair buildings, update facilities, keep up with technology or even replace aging school buses, the school board learned last week.
Decry coverage, pressure groups whose objections prompted governor’s veto
Many Republican lawmakers continue to defend Senate Bill 1062 in the wake of Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto, including Rep. Brenda Barton (R-Payson).
So I’m huffing up this hill, thinking how gravity ain’t nearly as reliable a thing as Isaac Newton assumed. I haven’t done the measurements, but I’m pretty certain the gravitational constant has increased slowly, but steadily in the past 50 years.
Payson may have to come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of a recent state Supreme Court ruling overturning the Legislature’s vote to decrease the inflation adjustment on retirement payments to judges, police officers, prison guards and firefighters, said Payson Mayor Kenny Evans.
No layoffs, but tough choices for board
Despite a rise in enrollment and a tiny increase in basic state aid, the Payson Unified School District could face a million-dollar shortfall in the upcoming budget, the weary school board learned this week.
Legislature moves to repeal election reforms to thwart initiative
What a mess.
Restoration project’s focus on big trees endangers consensus behind 4-FRI
Environmental groups say a forest-thinning project on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon confirms their worst fears about the Forest Service management of the troubled forest thinning contracts.
A new law will loosen environmental review conditions on thinning bark-beetle infested forests and make it easier for states to thin unhealthy forests and restore damaged watersheds.
Barton pushing gas tax bill
Several state lawmakers hope to restore road-building money to counties and towns this year by forcing the state to pay for the highway patrol and other state expenses out of general fund money instead of gas taxes.
After a long and nearly fatal absence, humpback chub have returned to the waters of Havasu Creek, deep in the Grand Canyon.
The state will put up $25 million to help counties and towns thin fire-prone forests on state lands, according to a bill sponsored by the Rim Country’s state legislative delegation.
Montezuma’s Well nurtures a miraculous ecosystem of leeches and flukes and shrimp and myth
I stand happily on the edge of the world’s beginning — pondering how wonderfully it’s all going after such a mysterious start.
Lawmakers repeal law to thwart initiative
What a mess.
Normally wet months bring barely any rain
Rim Country’s scary-dry winter continues this week — with no end in sight.
Rim Country’s legislative delegation teamed up to introduce a bill that would protect the right of anyone with a concealed weapons permit to take a gun into public events and buildings.
Sales rise 7% as Payson’s plan review fees jump 44%
Rim Country’s economy continues to gain ground with a 7 percent improvement in sales reported on Payson’s January financial tracking report.
Barton’s bill would exempt farms, ranchers from from existing rules
Animal rights groups took aim this week at a bill sponsored by Rep. Brenda Barton (R-Payson) that exempts ranchers and livestock operations from provisions of the existing animal cruelty laws.
A bill to set aside $30 million to help rural areas get loans to build or improve water systems advanced out of a state legislative committee this week.
Judge throws out lawsuit, but committee approves new restrictions
Republican state lawmakers continue to fight tenaciously to prevent the federally funded expansion of health care coverage for low-income residents — despite setbacks in court and the equally insistent opposition of Republican Gov. Jan Brewer.
Building code overhaul includes fire protection
Payson has undertaken a top-to-bottom overhaul of 1,000 pages of building code, including changes intended to reduce the danger a wildfire will sweep in from the forest and rage through the densely forested town, according to Payson Mayor Kenny Evans.
Increase comes as feds ponder rule change
The number of Mexican Grey Wolves trotting through the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico jumped to 83 in 2013, a roughly 10 percent increase.
County Republicans blast John McCain for voting record
The Republican Party’s harsh censure resolutions aimed at Sen. John McCain have set off a rash of inter-party polemics.
Firefighters alarmed at setback to brush clearing
With the fire season already looming, fire departments throughout the region are working feverishly to reopen the brush pits where homeowners can drop off brush cleared from their property.
County’s trend veers from state, nation
Gila County’s unemployment rate rose slightly in December, bucking the otherwise encouraging trend both statewide and nationally.
Payson crowd tours of a century of a bewildering brilliance
Three music-obsessed chums took a near-sellout, foot-tapping Payson crowd on a sly and ecstatic tour of a century of musical innovation and improvisation Sunday.
Brewer’s budget creates winners and losers for school districts
Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposed budget came in for some rough handling in a key legislative committee this week, particularly some proposals related to education.
Lawsuit seeks to keep cattle out of Fossil Creek watershed
A simmering dispute about whether to let cattle graze on 42,000 acres in the upper Fossil Creek watershed spilled over into to court once again last week.
Gov. targets CPS, universities, prisons
No more bloodshed. But not much rehabilitation.
Rep. Barton lays out legislative priorities for skeptical crowd
Rep. Brenda Barton (R-Payson) faced a surprisingly tough series of questions about her support for K-12 education at a meeting of the Payson Tea Party last week.
“Sandy” set her ears and planted her mule shoes.
Gov. Brewer proposes CPS shift to cope with ignored abuse cases in State of the State speech
Gov. Jan Brewer responded forcefully this week to a spreading crisis spawned by ignored reports of child abuse and neglect with a proposal to upgrade Child Protective Services into an independent agency whose director serves in the governor’s cabinet.
Gov. Jan Brewer’s State of the State speech this week provided only modest hope for parents and teachers waiting for the state will restore school funding.
Remarkable memoir captures drama, racism, ironies and tragedy of the conflict that defined the West
Standing amidst the tumbled ruins of the stage stop, I studied the bruised and sullen thunderheads on the horizon.
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick faces tough fight to continue representing Southern Gila County
Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick will have to mount a fierce struggle this year to hang onto her Arizona Congressional District 1 seat.
Rim Country’s economy continued to gain steam at the end of the year, with the exception of the still, sickly building sector.
Can monster bass save vital fishery?
Move over little bass — the big bass is moving in.
Supreme Court says lawmakers broke the law by cutting $1.6 billion in inflation adjustments
A series of court rulings could force the Arizona Legislature to restore as much as $1.6 billion in funding for schools — but key lawmakers are already promising to thwart the latest ruling.
Payson doesn’t give its gifted students much extra attention, with a relative handful of advanced placement tests, few breakout programs for students identified as gifted and little attempt to provide extra or accelerated classes. Heck, this year the high school doesn’t even offer calculus.
Judge denies bail pending appeal for Rick Renzi
The congressman who once represented Rim Country must report to prison by Jan. 13, now that a federal judge has refused his request to remain free on bail while he appeals his convictions for corruption and money laundering.
San Xavier del Bac restoration saves colorful history
The strangely various congregation rose to their feet beneath the dual, double scalloped domes of one of the oldest, most vivid, most unusual churches in the West.
Lawmaker would divert preschool money to Child Protective Services
Faced with a child abuse budget scandal, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills) offered an odd remedy: Let’s take money away from early childhood education and support to investigate child abuse and neglect.
Fallout from Yarnell tragedy
Staggered by the mounting costs of the Yarnell Hill Fire and dire fire predictions for 2014, the State Division of Forestry hopes the Legislature will double its firefighting budget this year.
The socketed end of the bone jutted from the snow, adding an ominous note to the brooding silence of the looming pines and firs.
Home on the range — where seldom is heard, a discouraging word. Well, not exactly: Leastwise, not when it comes to research on how shifts in the climate will likely affect the forests of Rim Country — and the rest of the West.
Coatimundi killed near Payson indicates strange creature has extended its range again
A strange escapee from the teeming tropics had made it to Rim Country.
Roosevelt Lake bass, crappie, bluegill continue to decline
The sharp decline in Roosevelt Lake’s once stellar reputation as a bass fishery continues to bedevil local businesses and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.