Hot Links: Glendale Light Rail, Mercury Rally, and Mercy Gilbert

State employees in Arizona will retain domestic-partner benefits for the next 12 months, even though the Legislature's decided to eliminate those benefits in their last budget. The Department of Administration says cutting the benefits before October 2010 could put the state in violation of contract laws...Next week, the Metro light-rail board will vote on whether or not to approve a study that evaluates how light-rail trains could run to Glendale. The study would examine a handful of public transit options for the West side, including those that would run from downtown Phoenix to downtown Glendale, and perhaps continue through downtown Glendale to Westgate...About a thousand fans gathered at US Airways Center last night at a championship rally for the Phoenix Mercury, who won their second WNBA championship in three years last Friday. Mercury and Suns owner Robert Sarver commended the team for their commitment, mental toughness, and teamwork...

A colleague of "spiritual warrior" James Ray, who organized the deadly sweat lodge in Sedona where two people died last week, says that he believes Ray had "the intention of loving and caring," and believes he'll take responsibility for the tragedy...Desert Schools Federal Credit Union is asking for the public's help in finding a man who they say is scamming tellers. The man, described as African-American, 35 to 45 years old, has gone into various bank branches and asked to exchange $20 bills for larger denominations in multiple transactions. He then claims the tellers short-changed him and asks for that money...Mercy Gilbert Medical Center is partnering with Chandler Regional Medical Center and St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix to create a new pediatric and women's center on the Mercy Gilbert campus. Grand opening is October 14.

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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