Hot Links: A School Bus Crash, Kidnappings, and Arctic Birds

A school bus crashed in Mesa early this morning, injuring the bus driver and some of the ten students on board. The bus, from Desert Hills High School, was rear-ended by a pickup truck hauling a tractor near Val Vista and University Drive. The driver of the truck, the bus driver, and three students were taken to the hospital with injuries believed to be minor...The number of reported kidnappings in metropolitan Phoenix dropped in 2009. In 2008, Phoenix was named the "kidnapping capitol"of the U.S., with 359 reported kidnappings. That number dropped in 2009, to 302 reported kidnapping through November. Most of the kidnappings are tied to drug and human smuggling, and Phoenix Home Invasion and Kidnapping Enforcement investigators credit the dismantling of small gangs to the drop in kidnappings...Two men were killed in a shootout in Mesa on Sunday. Mesa police say the men began shooting at each other at a party. One man died at the scene, while the other was found dead behind the wheel of his car. Police do not know what led to the confrontation...

A rare arctic bird was spotted at Glen Canyon this month. The bird, a red-necked grebe, was found during a survey by bird enthusiasts, and is only the third ever recorded in Arizona...The city of Surprise is getting a photo radar camera for speed enforcement. The camera, made by Scottsdale-based Redflex Traffic Systems, will be placed in residential neighborhoods and school zones. Surprise Police Chief Dan Hughes says the camera is a response to complaints from residents, and is not meant to make money for the city...Chandler woman Barbara Peacock, who founded Arizona Llama Rescue, is looking for homes for 15 llamas. Peacock says llamas are quiet and shy, and she's adopting the animals out of her farm near McQueen and Pecos. 

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