Payson’s economy perked along heading into the holidays, with a 7 percent rise in sales tax collections and an 18 percent rise in vehicle license taxes, according to the town’s financial tracking report for October.
STORY ONE: The 25-year-old vaulted the counter at the One Stop in Payson, brandished a gun and forced the clerk to empty the register. The robber then ran into a Payson neighborhood.
The Rim Country Educational Alliance on Thursday approved a master plan for the development of a 6,000-student university and support facilities on a 253-acre parcel it bought from the U.S. Forest Service for the purpose.
Fewer than 1/3 pass as Payson lags behind state
Sure enough, Rim Country students struggled to pass the new, AZMerit test.
The search for a Spanish arrastra with a one-thumbed cowboy
Jon Cline killed the engine of his ATV, turned, and looked down at me at the bottom of the washed out gully of a Jeep trail, the barrier between me and a great slab of mystery.
Arizona voters would rather pay higher taxes than cut school funding and 56 percent support a plan to take money from the state land trust to provide an infusion of cash for K-12 schools, according to a Morrison Institute poll.
Debate rages on about largest forest restoration effort in U.S. history
The largest forest restoration project in history continues to make progress — and spur criticism.
Districts seek more property taxes as financial crisis hits
A lobbying group for the state’s fire districts is pushing hard to lift the strict limits on the property taxes to provide money for most fire departments — especially in rural areas like Rim Country.
The dire plight of the state’s three public universities has been largely overlooked in the uproar over funding for K-12 education.
The Payson Unified School District honored the Tonto Apache Tribal Council as “Heroes of Education,” for the tribe’s many donations to the district in recent years — including $20,000 to replace the turf on the football field.
Wildfires ignite political firestorm centered on faster forest thinning, budget reforms
The U.S. Forest Service remains in something approaching bureaucratic and budget meltdown, with wildfires torching the budget and thinning projects languishing.
No word yet on formal negotiations with university partner
Backers of the plan to build a university campus this week recorded the deed to the 253-acre university parcel on which they plan to build a 6,000-student university.
School inflation settlement only enough for 4 percent raise
The much ballyhooed settlement of the school inflation funding lawsuit represents “a good first step, but doesn’t solve the problem of public school funding in Arizona,” Payson Unified School District Superintendent Greg Wyman told the Payson Rotary Club last week.
Erosion could double in the West
Erosion into streams and reservoirs will double in Western states in the next 40 years due to an increase in the size and intensity of wildfires, according to a study by the United States Geological Survey.
Deadline day, running late already. So I barrel out of the driveway, thinking about all the loose threads that somehow had to get woven into a newspaper.
Warming trend already changing plants in Southwest
Whole forests have started shifting northward in the wake of forest fires, according to researchers from the University of California, Davis.
A slow-moving storm covered the Rim with snow and broke a 90-year snowfall record in Flagstaff, which received five inches.
Contracts for architect, manager signed
The Rim Country Educational Foundation has selected an architect and a project manager to begin detailed work on the design and infrastructure for a 6,000-student university campus in Payson.
Lobo’s once more making ripples on a perfect fall day
The wind riffles the still surface of a side channel of the East Verde River, causing the reflected yellow dreamscape of sycamores to shimmer.
Good Earth Power continues to report progress in the most massive forest restoration project ever undertaken, as studies underscore the urgency of the effort.
Report highlights threat of Arizona fires
Thinning and restoring forest lands can yield about $10 to $100 in benefits for every dollar spent, according to a report issued by Arizona Forward.
After years of delay and struggle, the Tonto National Forest has accepted a $4.1 million check to hand over title to 253 acres of land on which the Rim Country Educational Alliance will build a 6,000-student university.
With trowels and toothbrushes and infinite patience, the sunburned crew of archaeologists uncovered the top layer of a mystery.
HPR founder says existing plant will remain in Payson
Advanced Tactical Armament Concepts will build a $554 million ammunition making plant with 605 employees in Tennessee, but will continue to operate its much smaller manufacturing operation in Payson indefinitely owner Jim Antich told the Roundup this week.
The irascible, vivid, obsessively productive, Zane Grey would hardly have recognized his house – sitting on the bright green grass in the grey, cool rain alongside Green Valley Park Lake in Payson.
Payson board rejects bylaws
A seemingly uncontroversial proposal spurred a whole series of split votes and confusion on the Payson School Board on Monday.
Statewide, fewer than a third rank as ‘proficient’
Brace yourself: This is gonna be bad.
Head of House education committee supports Ducey plan
State Rep. Paul Boyer urged voters to support Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan to increase K-12 spending with more money from the flush state land fund.
Feds, state say protections now adequate despite threats
State and private efforts have worked so well there’s no need to list either the Sonoran desert tortoise or the Page springsnail as endangered, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded.
District has all of southern Gila County
The bare-knuckle struggle to replace District 1 Congressman Anne Kirkpatrick is shaping up to be the most contentious and competitive in the state.
Driven by repeated Internet and cellphone outages, a high-powered group of local business and political leaders is pushing for a backup network.
Foundation to spend $1 million on development contract, engineering
The Rim Country Educational Alliance and Foundation will this week hand over a $4.1 million check to buy 253 acres for a future university site in Payson.
Feds plan protection for chubs after 23-year wait
After thinking it over for 23 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week proposed adding to the endangered species list two native fish found in Rim Country — the headwater chub and the roundtail chub — Also known as the Verde trout.
Best friends and a fear of heights
Payson Rizzo, 11, climbed into the back of the tiny, frail-winged airplane knowing he was doomed — but what could he do?
Another low ranking as school funding debate continues to heat up
Arizona ranked 49th among the states when it comes to conditions for teachers, in a study based largely on census and other data published on the WalletHub website.
University advocates on Saturday with much fanfare unveiled a custom-designed, carved sign to mark the site of a future campus in Payson.
Forecasters see chance of ‘Super El Niño’ snowpack
Rim Country got drenched Monday and Tuesday, a portent of things to come.
A mounting tally of studies have cast doubt on the hope that forests can buffer climate change. In fact, forests may actually exaggerate the impact of a steady rise in temperatures.
Payson gets mixed grade for meeting state, federal mandates
The Payson Unified School District still has a long way to go when it comes to meeting federal nutrition and exercise guidelines, Payson Elementary School physical education teacher Judy Perham told the school board Monday.
Skeptical Payson board member ‘very impressed’
The new standardized test that has spawned a year of furor and controversy got a surprisingly positive review on Monday from Payson School Board member Shirley Dye.
‘It’s just unacceptable’ says Payson mayor of outage, lack of response
Goaded by the third communications blackout in a year, Payson Mayor Kenny Evans is pushing for a backup, high-speed cellphone and Internet connection.
Inflation adjustment, state trust lands provoke divisions
The high-stakes issue of school funding continues to roil state officials, thanks to a $1.3 billion court judgment, contending reform plans and bitter feuds involving top state officials.
Controversy continues to beset state’s Corporation Commission
Arizona Public Service has decided to drop its bid to triple the monthly fee for customers with solar power, capping months of controversy and accusations of conflict of interest that have swirled around the Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates the state’s utilities.
The man who deserved the award didn’t get his name on the plaque.
Interim plan would impose entry fee, require reservations to protect stream
If you want to visit Fossil Creek next summer — you’ll need to make a reservation and shell out $10.
It’s the sunsets.
No one’s crying fowl
The Payson Planning and Zoning Commission Monday said yes to backyard hens, but no to housing guests in recreational vehicles.
Rep. Gosar boycotts speech, citing global warming debate
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Prescott) drew national attention this week when he boycotted Pope Francis’ address to Congress, saying he objected to the Pope’s stand on climate change.
University backers still negotiating deal with ASU, developer, finanicers
Tonto National Forest can likely complete the $4.1 million sale of land for a university site in Payson within “two weeks,” said Tonto National Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth.
Rim Country's state representdative in fierced opposition
Rep. Bob Thorpe wants voters to rally against formation of two new national monuments — one near Sedona and the other near the Grand Canyon.