El Niño promises wet monsoon, winter
The El Niño conditions in the Pacific didn’t save Rim Country from a dry spring — but it should yield a wet summer and snowy winter, according to the latest projections from the National Weather Service.
4FRI contractor opens a mill, returns to forest
The stalled Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) picked up steam in June with the opening of a new mill in Williams, the reopening of the forest to thinning projects, the addition of a second shift to a mill in Heber and plans for a new, high-tech, small log mill in Williams.
Building codes, Firewise can save lives, property
This item should come as no surprise to anyone.
The view off the meander of Forest Road 300 stretches for 100 miles and 100 years, following the wagon road General George Crook blazed in the wrenching war with the Apache Indians that defined American history and character.
I stand stalwart with my fly rod in the mighty East Verde, entertaining the hatchery trout to the best of my haphazard abilities.
The Mogollon Health Alliance and Banner Health on Friday completed their merger, with enormous implications for health care in Rim Country, the Payson university project and educational and health care charitable initiatives.
Arizona representatives blast decision
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the latest effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act, ensuring that thousands of Gila County residents won’t lose health care coverage.
Criticism swirls around painfully slow progress
Debate continues to swirl around the painfully slow progress in the largest forest restoration forest restoration effort in U.S. history.
Crews contain most blazes
Wildfires continue to burn throughout Arizona, but most pose little threat to structures, people or the forest.
Firefighters have blazes contained
Wildfires continue to burn throughout Arizona, but most don’t pose a threat to structures, people or the forest. The Forest Service is letting several of the larger fires burn to thin brush and actually boost forest health.
Their fate was sealed five miles overhead as the top of the roiling mushroom cloud of hot air began to disintegrate.
Mind the spotted owls. And the goshawks too.
Federal officials deploy 10,000 wildlands firefighters
Despite a mild fire season so far in Rim Country, federal officials say they expect a rough fire season throughout the West.
Gov. Doug Ducey last week proposed injecting an extra $300 million annually into the state’s spending on K-12 education by taking more money out of the state lands trust.
The U.S. Forest Service wants to cut off almost all access to Fossil Creek by car to protect the unique, spring-fed stream from the impact of some 100,000 visitors a year.
Now, here’s how weird things are this year. When lightning started a fire north of Strawberry this week — the Forest Service decided to let it burn.
Would you rather save an endangered species — or keep the public from visiting a beautiful spring?
State Sen. Dr. Kelli Ward seeks to unseat Sen. John McCain
The doctor-turned-state-senator challenging Sen. John McCain for his U.S. Senate seat brought her plucky, long-shot campaign to Payson with an appearance before the Payson Tea Party last week.
Arizona suffers deepest cutbacks, highest tuition hikes in the nation
Arizona cut support for universities deeper than any other state during the recession, triggering the steepest tuition hikes in the country, according to a just-released report from the national Center for Budget Priorities.
Tax receipts up 8 percent, outpacing state
Payson’s economy continues to outperform the state’s, according to the town’s May financial tracking report.
Payson aims to reassure Forest Service on sale
The Payson Town Council held a second public hearing on a proposal to rezone a 253-acre Forest Service parcel for a university.
Turns out, you can’t believe what you read on the Internet.
Forest Service plans to start cutting 64,000 acres of forest this summer
The U.S. Forest Service has agreed to start a 64,000-acre thinning project on the watershed feeding into the C.C. Cragin Reservoir by the summer of 2017.
Thorpe suggests reconsidering university cuts
State tax revenues continue to flow in much faster than budget builders assumed when they adopted the Fiscal 2015-16 budget, which included a freeze on K-12 spending and another cut in university spending.
Districts with charter schools may have to make years of back payments
A mistake in a budget bill could cost districts like Payson with charter schools millions.
Forest tour reveals dirty secret behind unhealthy tree thickets
The wood-gobbling machines trundled across the thickly forested site atop the Mogollon Rim, while a gaggle of politicians, anxious officials and forest experts watched.
Payson continues to make progress on its two top priorities, building the C.C. Cragin pipeline to double the town’s water supply and building a university campus to bolster the year-round economy.
Payson will keep paying Galbraith’s $128,000 salary
The Payson Town Council has accepted a proposal from Town Manager Debra Galbraith to finish out her contract in a leave of absence.
SRP fixes pumps to feed East Verde
The Salt River Project has finally started putting C.C. Cragin Reservoir water into the East Verde River.
I take a ringside seat in Green Valley Park.
Jury rejects 2nd degree murder charge
A Gila County jury convicted Payson resident Mike Voden of manslaughter Friday afternoon following a one-week trial and brief deliberations.
The Payson Town Council last week approved spending $10,000 in water department money to help pay for a $20,000 July 4 show, which annually draws tens of thousands of people to the region.
$1.6 million job goes to local contractor
Payson has awarded a $1.5 million contract to build the next phase of the C.C. Cragin pipeline to a local contractor, plus another $158,000 contract to a local engineering firm to supervise the work.
Council approves Payson Airport land exchange extension
The Payson Town Council last week gave the feuding owners of nearly 200 acres of empty land vital to the town’s housing future more time to work out their issues.
The Payson Town Council last week moved ahead to rezone a 253-acre Forest Service parcel so that it can only harbor an educational institution or related facilities.
State Forester Jeff Whitney chose his words carefully, like a man photographing bears.
Alliance delivers first check
The Rim Country Educational Alliance Thursday took another concrete step toward buying the land to build a 6,000-student university campus in Payson.
Daniel Flores got the thrill of the lifetime recently fishing at Green Valley Lake.
The bulls slobber and twist as the cowboys fly.
Turns out, Payson’s chock full of amiable, extras — seeking their gleeful 15 minutes of fame.
The wind wafted. The kayakers paddled. The fisherman fiddled. The children tumbled. The dragon slumbered.
High-powered, high-stakes forest tour
Payson has a vital interest in protecting the C.C. Cragin Reservoir watershed, but then so does the whole of the Valley, Salt River Project administrator Bruce Hallin told a high-powered gathering of lawmakers and local officials on Wednesday.
Parent University offers tips on different learning styles
Kids got learning styles.
Representative Paul Gosar spoke Wednesday to the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, gathering up a heaping helping of praise from Payson Mayor Kenny Evans for helping the town cope with the federal government.
We wait. We watch the skies. We dread what awaits.
Evans: Construction of university will start in fall
The Rim Country Educational Alliance Board this week signed the long-awaited purchase agreement for 253 acres of Forest Service land on which it will build a four-year university in Payson.
They had it in the bag.
Area’s 8 percent rise double the state’s
Payson’s economy continued to outpace the state, but still slowed somewhat in April from the strong showing in March, according to Payson’s monthly sales and budget tracking report.
Gila County judge unearths, sets right, historic wrong
Mrs. Cook picked up the phone, with no sense of impending history.
Forest Service approves purchase agreement for 253-acre site
The US Forest Service has finally approved the long-awaited purchase agreement to sell a 253-acre parcel of land for a four-year university in Payson. Payson Mayor Kenny Evans announced the receipt of the purchase agreement at a crowded luncheon meeting of the Rim Country Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.