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.
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.
Early childhood program passes audit
Since the inception of First Things First, the percentage of kindergartners with untreated tooth decay has decreased by 8 percent, according to the early childhood organization’s recently published 2016 Annual Report.
A crucial 19-acre chunk of land alongside Fossil Creek this week passed into Forest Service hands.
Where will you be fishing for monster trout?
Native fish. Monster invaders. Even hybrids. Arizona Game and Fish says there’s room for everyone in Arizona’s lakes and streams. Andy Clark, with Arizona Game and Fish’s Coldwater Fisheries division, laid out the master plan last weekend before a meeting of the Payson Flycasters.
A new state law that lets Arizona lawmakers potentially cut off a town’s state-shared gas tax, income tax and sales tax has already spawned several swirls of controversy.
“Gloock. Glooocch. Glooch,” quote the raven. I didn’t know how to respond. The glossy black raven cocked his head, studying me with raucous skepticism.
A change in the ‘whether’
Republicans running for the Arizona Corporation Commission figure maybe human beings have something to do with the warming trend after all.
Stop what you’re doing. Get up. Go outside. LOCK YOUR CAR! The Payson Police Department on Friday reported a rash of 21 vehicle burglaries since Sept. 9 — mostly unlocked cars sitting in front of homes and businesses.
County jobless rate still high
Arizona hasn’t regained its pre-recession mojo, but we’re doing better.
Native American groups in North and South America are all descended from people who some 23,000 years ago trekked from Asia, through Siberia to the tundra of a now-submerged land bridge, according to genetic studies.
Will mining endanger Grand Canyon?
Many living things readily absorb uranium and pass it up along the food chain, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Service.
Only 10 percent healthy
Family income, race account for most differences
It isn’t the teacher.
State ranks 49th when it comes to a teaching career
Arizona ranks as one of the worst states to be a teacher, according to a national study based largely on Census Data by Wallet Hub.
Half joy, half relief, a dash of sorrow.
Forest rangers get some pretty strange calls — some tragic, some just, well, strange.
Push to merge three fish species into one provokes loud protest
A chub, by any other name, would be what exactly?
A forest on the edge
About 40 Rim Country residents last week puzzled their way through an attempt to explain the enormous complexity and impact of the Tonto National Forest’s effort to overhaul it’s plan to manage 3 million acres of drought-plagued, insect-tormented, loved-to-death forest.
Payson filled its slots, but 2,000 jobs remain vacant
The Payson Unified School District managed to fill all its empty teaching positions this year.
Firefighters completed burnout operations for the 2,266-acre Fulton Fire, burning just below the Rim.
Payson Town Council approves $19,000 project
Rumsey Park is due for a haircut. Maybe a buzz cut. The Payson Town Council this week approved a proposed $19,000 project to thin the trees and brush in Rumsey Park to reduce fire danger.
Water leaks, outages rile speakers at PSWID meeting
The Pine Strawberry water board meeting last week turned into an hours-long effort to handle disputes about leaks, outages, sodden washes harboring mosquitoes and other issues.
The empire strikes back
Arizona Public Service not only rejected an Arizona Corporation commissioner’s request to look at the company’s records, it has now filed suit to recover legal fees related to that request.
Payson took the first step toward setting up an improvement district to provide roads and infrastructure for a proposed subdivision on West Rumsey Drive, near Walmart.
Wildfires burning across Rim Country continue to alarm many residents, while dramatizing the shift in the Forest Service approach to managing fire.
The Payson Town Council this week approved a $116,000 add-on to the contract for the C.C. Cragin pipeline to account for the stretched-out construction schedule.
Realtor Ray Pugel wanted $2,300 reduction in his bill
The Pine Strawberry water board last week rejected Realtor Ray Pugel’s effort to cut his water bill by about $2,300.
Almost all of the teachers in the Payson Unified School District can expect to get a roughly $2,500 “merit pay” boost this year, under the formula approved last week by the Payson School Board.
Rim Country’s state representatives fared poorly when it comes to support for public education in a report released by education advocacy groups.
The lightning-caused Fulton Fire this week continued to cause problems for people driving on Highway 260, 25 miles east of Payson, and alarm Rim Country residents as a result of widespread smoke.
Donations top $50,000 to help teens in Payson High School get college credit
So far, 100 Payson High School students have received free or nearly free college classes — thanks to an innovative partnership involving Payson Unified School District, Gila Community College and the Aspire Arizona Foundation.
AzMERIT: Good, band & UGLY
Happy glimmers of good news for the Payson Unified School District gleam in the latest AzMERIT test scores.
Roundup editor Peter Aleshire took this picture of the Rim in snow last winter.
Vera Eccles came by the office this week, very upset. She’d suffered a terrible trauma — and we made it worse.
The forests of Northern Arizona remain dreadfully vulnerable to the effects of climate change, according to the just-released draft of an overhaul of the Tonto National Forest’s master plan.
The Northern Gila County Fair this weekend showcased crafts, art and prizewinning steers, goats, pigs and lord knows what all. For more on the county fair, see Friday’s Roundup.
We shuffled into the backyard with a beach towel and sleepy expectations, hours of deep dark from the dawn.
Hot, wet, weird year — all across the country. Rim Country enjoyed one of its wettest monsoons on record, although the forecast calls for things to dry out for the rest of the week — with highs around 80.
Arizona’s bald eagles set a new population record this year with 65 pairs of eagles producing 78 chicks. The unique population of desert-nesting eagles has steadily expanded its nesting areas in the past 20 years, despite the removal of endangered species protection several years ago.
Payson students making gains but still lag behind
Payson students have made solid progress in math, English and science, but still often lag behind the state average, according to the latest AzMERIT test scores.
The intense, high-stakes, dark-money-dominated campaign for three seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission lurched through the primary election last week and into an even more contentious general election.
Arizona Sen. John McCain and Rep. Paul Gosar both survived unexpectedly strong challenges in their Republican primary contests for re-election.
Pine relies on donations to pay coaches, clubs, advisers
The 110-student Pine-Strawberry School District has a couple of things in common with the 2,400-student Payson Unified School District.
Tailings could cover 4,400 acres, leave 1.8-mile-wide, 1,000-foot-deep hole
The Tonto National Forest will start gathering information on the environmental impact of what may become the world’s largest copper mine — not to mention a humongous hole in the ground.
Environmental group seeking long-delayed ruling on 417 species
Rep. Paul Gosar this week renewed his war with the Center for Biological Diversity, blasting the Flagstaff-based group for filing lawsuits on behalf of endangered species.
Burns trying to force utility to reveal political spending
Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Burns’ lonely crusade to force Arizona Public Service to disclose its dark money spending took another turn this week when he issued a subpoena to force the million-customer utility to turn over its records.
Martinez, Bagley will challenge incumbents representing Rim Country
Lawmakers must support Arizona’s educational system for the state to prosper, two Democratic legislative candidates insisted at a recent Payson fundraiser.
Weisser stressed education, immigration in effort to unseat Rep. Gosar
Democratic congressional candidate Mikel Weisser brought to Payson recently his longshot crusade to unseat Republican Rep. Paul Gosar.
Terrible ranking for kids
Kids have it rough in Arizona — especially if their folks aren’t rich. Arizona ranks near the bottom nationally on a host of measurements of child welfare, in a national study released this week by WalletHub.