Back to profile

Pete Aleshire

Stories by Pete

Tease photo

The perfect snow day

Blunted senses aside, nothing beats a winter’s walk

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Tease photo

Justices may upend districts

Two cases could prove a windfall for Republicans

Two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court could not only overturn Arizona’s congressional and legislative district boundaries, they could remake the electoral map nationally — largely at the expense of Democrats.

Tease photo

Chiefs: ‘Rescue us’

Fire department budgets in crisis

Faced with financial meltdown, rural fire districts are pleading with lawmakers to let local voters raise capped property tax rates.

Tease photo

Help for HS students

Aspire Foundation raising money to cover GCC classes

The recently established Aspire Arizona Foundation has launched its first effort in support of a university campus in Payson — a partnership with Payson High School and Gila Community College to offer dual-credit college courses.

Tease photo

Research documents true cost of pollution

Some 195 nations adopted a climate change treaty last week that Rim Country’s legislators in both the state House and in Congress have bitterly criticized.

Tease photo

Saving a reservoir

Forest Service pushing to avert crown fires on 64,000 C.C. Cragin watershed

The rare, collaborative effort to protect Payson’s water supply by thinning the overgrown forest on the 64,000-acre watershed to the C.C. Cragin Reservoir got a boost this summer from a surprising source — wildfires.

Tease photo

New controversy engulfs Commission

Attorney General seeks removal of commissioner for conflict

Controversy continues to dog the Arizona Corporation Commission, including Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s petition to the Arizona Supreme Court to remove Commissioner Susan Bitter Smith from office.

Tease photo

Roundup: Newspaper of the Year

The Payson Roundup this week was named national newspaper of the year for non-daily papers with less than 10,000 circulation by the Local Media Association.

Tease photo

Ode to ice

Ever notice how your life turns on the most trivial detail?

Tease photo

Winter’s comeback

Payson may get snow by Saturday as ‘super’ El Niño gains strength

It might feel like a balmy fall this week, but brace yourself: Winter’s coming back and El Niño’s getting stronger.

Tease photo

Legal thicket

Alliance won’t discuss charter lease, but will consider legal structures

The Rim Country Educational Alliance will meet on Thursday to take the first step toward buying another 21 acres for a university campus, but won’t discuss a plan to lease a portion of the 253 acres it already owns to a charter school.

Tease photo

Economists predict strong job growth for Arizona

But state’s planned 50 percent cut in vocational education challenged

Arizona seems poised to resume rapid growth, according to Forbes magazine, which ranked the state tops in the nation for project job growth.

Tease photo

Study shows frightening climate shift now underway

Greatest change in 1,000 years happening as politicians debate

The world’s climate shifted decisively in the 1980s as a result of the accumulation of heat-trapping pollutants and the carbon dioxide released by the El Chichón volcanic eruption in Mexico, according to a massive study published in Global Change Biology.

Tease photo

Payson sales rise, but construction plunges

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.

Tease photo

New heroin epidemic proves lethally complicated

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.

Tease photo

Alliance adopts plan for university site

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.

Tease photo

Students struggle on test

Fewer than 1/3 pass as Payson lags behind state

Sure enough, Rim Country students struggled to pass the new, AZMerit test.

Tease photo

Treasure & mystery

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.

Tease photo

Education top issue for voters

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.

Tease photo

Forest thinning progress – and criticism

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.

Tease photo

Fire budget woes

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.

Tease photo

Universities left in the lurch

The dire plight of the state’s three public universities has been largely overlooked in the uproar over funding for K-12 education.

Tease photo

Schools honor Tonto Apache Tribe

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.

Tease photo

World on fire

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.

Tease photo

University backers record title to land

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.

Tease photo

Wyman: A ‘good start, not a solution’

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.

Tease photo

Mud Flows Ahead

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.

Tease photo

Rim offers routine exposure to beauty

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.

Tease photo

Study: Forests fleeing rising temperatures

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.

Tease photo

Winter comes gusting into Rim Country

A slow-moving storm covered the Rim with snow and broke a 90-year snowfall record in Flagstaff, which received five inches.

Tease photo

University master plan

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.

Tease photo

Turn of the seasons

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.

Tease photo

4FRI making slow progress

Good Earth Power continues to report progress in the most massive forest restoration project ever undertaken, as studies underscore the urgency of the effort.

Tease photo

Forest ‘vulnerable to destruction’

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.

Tease photo

Forest Service finishes sale of university site

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.

Tease photo

Mystery wrapped in an enigma

With trowels and toothbrushes and infinite patience, the sunburned crew of archaeologists uncovered the top layer of a mystery.

Tease photo

Ammo maker expands, but not to Granite Dells

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.

Tease photo

Celebrating Zane Grey

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.

Tease photo

Much ado about race-based quotas

Payson board rejects bylaws

A seemingly uncontroversial proposal spurred a whole series of split votes and confusion on the Payson School Board on Monday.

Tease photo

Parents: Brace for bad news on AzMERIT test scores

Statewide, fewer than a third rank as ‘proficient’

Brace yourself: This is gonna be bad.

Tease photo

More money for schools

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.

Tease photo

Tortoise, snail, denied endangered species listing

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.

Tease photo

Congressional race draws a feisty crowd

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.

Tease photo

Group seeks Internet backup for Rim Country

Driven by repeated Internet and cellphone outages, a high-powered group of local business and political leaders is pushing for a backup network.

Tease photo

University sale imminent

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.

Tease photo

Native fish proposed as endangered

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.

Tease photo

Payson’s Young Eagles take flight

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?

Tease photo

Study: Arizona among worst states for teachers

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.

Tease photo

University backers unveil site sign

University advocates on Saturday with much fanfare unveiled a custom-designed, carved sign to mark the site of a future campus in Payson.