Hot Links: Plane Crash, Crazy Cities, and Tuition Rate Hikes

A Chandler man died in a plane crash at Chandler air park yesterday. Nazzi Hirani was flying his World War II plane when it cartwheeled and crashed into a building at Stellar Airpark. Officials have not yet determined the cause of the crash...The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix has laid off 12 workers and cut 15 positions. Cuts included positions in education and public-information. This is the second year of layoffs at the Diocese in Phoenix: Last year, the diocese cut 17 positions and laid off 11 people...Tucson and Phoenix made the list of "America's Craziest Cities" in The Daily Beast. The publication evaluated citizens' stress and drinking, and listed Phoenix at number 51, and Tucson at number 8. The number-one craziest city was Cincinnatti, Ohio...

The Arizona Board of Regents voted Thursday to raise tuition rates at the state's three public universities. ASU's tuition will rise by 18.8 percent, while tuition at U of A will rise 20.5 percent, and NAU tuition will increase by 15.2 percent...A music teacher at Brinton Elementary School in Mesa has been arrested for child molestation. Michael LaMonica, 49, is accused of molesting a 7-year-old student on multiple occasions in 2005. The alleged victim is now 12, and she recently went to police with her information. LaMonica taught at Brinton Elementary for nine years...A man in Apache Junction was arrested after a teenage girl was shot at the door of her home. Brock E. Elson, 22, faces attempted murder charges stemming from the shooting on February 8. The victim, shot in the upper chest, has been released from the hospital since the incident.

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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