Hot Links: Chemicals, John Huppenthal, and Lowell Observatory

Two workers at the Raytheon Missile Systems plant in Tucson were treated and released from a local hospital after exposure to hazardous chemicals. A Raytheon spokesman says workers were handling chemical waste just before noon yesterday when they saw smoke. The fire department responded, but there was no fire. The workers are expected to return to their jobs today...State Senator John Huppenthal upset some members of his own Republican Party when he drilled holes in the walls of the auditorium at Scottsdale's Saguaro High School to hang a banner. Huppenthal hopes to be the next state schools superintendent and hung his campaign banner in advance of the GOP's meeting last week. Although school officials say Huppenthal didn't cause any damage, the party has agreed to reimburse the school for repairs...Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff announced it laid off three of its 60 employees and cut the hours of five others. Officials at the observatory say the layoffs were needed to shift resources to the $44-million Discovery Channel Telescope, which begins operations in February 2011...

Corinna Davis, the Mesa mother arrested for locking her toddler in a closet while she went to work on Tuesday, reportedly advertised herself as an escort on the Internet. She calls herself "Barbie" on MySpace and has placed ads on under escorts and adult-entertainment categories. Davis' boyfriend says she wanted to be a model and is not an escort...A robbery suspect has died after he was shot by a homeowner in a home invasion. According to police, a man was seen breaking into a vending machine near Tatum Boulevard and Union Hills Drive Wednesday, before running into the surrounding neighborhood. The shooter, a 59-year-old homeowner, claims he shot an armed intruder in his home. There's no word yet on whether he will be charged in the deadly shooting...Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), added his name to a list of officials opposed to the Tohono O'odham tribe's proposed $500 million casino west of Phoenix. The tribe says the casino, slated for 91st and Northern Avenues, would create 9,000 jobs, but Kyl and other officials cited concerns about the casino's impact on surrounding communities.

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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