Hot Links: Cactus League, Quadruplets, and Bearzona Park

The Arizona Senate voted yesterday to kill a proposal that would have made text-messaging while driving illegal in the state. The proposed legislation would have called for $50 fines for violators, or $200 fines if the driver was involved in an accident while texting. There weren't enough Senate votes to pass the bill, and some Senators expressed that the proposal was unfair, as there are numerous other things that distract drivers...Four professional baseball teams boycotted the Cactus League kickoff breakfast, to protest a proposed league-wide ticket surcharge to build a new Chicago Cubs spring-training complex. The Chicago White Sox, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Cincinatti Reds all skipped the breakfast in Mesa. A spokesman for the Angels said, "It's fundamentally wrong to implement a tax on loyal baseball fans"...The Phoenix City Council approved its budget plan yesterday, and 25 of the city's 55 Phoenix After-School Center (PAC) programs are on the chopping block. The programs allow students to do homework and structured activities on school campuses. A spokesman for the city says the program cuts will save $1,075,000...

A Phoenix couple became the parents of quadruplets Monday. The Morrisett family temporarily relocated from Kansas to receive pediatric care from Dr. John Elliott at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center. The quadruplets -- one girl and three boys -- are in good health, and the Morrisetts plan to return to Kansas in a month or so...While many state parks face the threat of closure during the budget crisis, a $15 million wild-animal park is planned for Williams, Arizona. The park, Bearzona, sits on 158 acres, and would allow visitors to drive through the park and see wild animals in their natural habitat. The park, scheduled to open in May, will be home to more than a hundred North American animals, including bighorn sheep and arctic wolves...A Valley toddler is recovering after accidentally shooting himself in the head last month. Landon Smith, 3, suffered massive head trauma after finding and discharging a gun in his grandmother's house. Doctors say he's awake and making a remarkable recovery, but he still has a ways to go. Six Barro's Pizza locations around the Valley will be donating 20 percent of Wednesday's sales to Smith's recovery fund, and a donation account has been set up at Valley Bank of America branches.  

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea