Hot Links: Carjacking, Puppies, and a Condo Fire

Maricopa County officials voted yesterday to give their lawyers permission to file a lawsuit over a $456,000 bus the Sheriff's Office bought to transport inmates. County officials question the legality of the purchase, because it wasn't put out for competitive bidding. Sheriff Joe Arpaio defended the purchase, saying he has the power to use special jail funds...A vehicle with three children inside was carjacked early this morning near 24th Street and McDowell Road. The white Ford was stolen from the parking lot of a convenience store; it's not clear if the thief knew the children were inside. After a massive search, police found the children near 12th Street and McDowell Road. The suspect is described as a black male wearing a red hoodie...An 8-year-old girl who was almost kidnapped Monday evening near Cactus Road and 19th Avenue is safe. According to police, the girl was skateboarding when a man grabbed her shirt and tried to pull her over the fence. The girl's family heard her screams, and the man ran away. Police found him hiding in a nearby wash...

A yellow Labrador puppy that swallowed a fish hook in Mesa is recovering. A Good Samaritan found the puppy and took her to the First Emergency Animal Clinic in Mesa, where doctors helped the dog vomit up the fish hook. The person who found the dog has agreed to adopt her after her recovery...A robber is on the run after beating a Valley convenience store clerk who locked him inside the establishment. The Chevron clerk noticed an African-American about to steal a box of chocolates so the clerk locked the store's door and grabbed a baseball bat to defend himself. But the suspect grabbed the bat and beat the 62-year-old clerk. The suspect fled, and the clerk is expected to recover...Twenty-five firefighters battled a huge condo fire in Scottsdale this morning. The fire, near Scottsdale Road and Lincoln Drive, was under control by 6:17 a.m., and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was unclear. 

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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