Hot Links: Poaching, Brownouts, and Wheel of Fortune

Arizona State Game and Fish agents say poaching is on the rise in Arizona. Agents aren't sure why they've seen a dramatic increase in complaints about wildlife poaching (up 70 percent from 2008), but theorize that during difficult financial times, Arizonans are poaching for food and profit. Some of the violations, however, involve "thrill killing," where animals are left to rot in the wild...Mesa started taking fire crews out of service on Sunday, but reinstated all fire crews after the city's elected officials complained. The removal of fire crews, known as "brownouts," is a budget-cutting move, but City Council members say public-safety issues are too important...Two men who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the beating death of a Tucson woman have been sentenced. Christopher Leighton, 24, got 25 years, while Zachary Roesch, 22, got 18 years. The victim, 37-year-old Rosario Maria Morey, died in August, 2008, after being struck in the head more than 11 times...

Unsafe mold levels were found at Desert Harbor Elementary School in Peoria. School officials have closed off a section of the school where air-quality experts found the mold, and they're having the area cleaned now. They plan to reopen the affected section of the school in a few weeks...A man reportedly riding a stolen motorcycle crashed on Interstate 17 early this morning and died as a result of his injuries. The driver, whose identity has not been released, was riding with two other motorcycles near the Bell Road off-ramp when he lost control and crashed. The other two drivers left the scene before police arrived...Phoenix resident Lisa Sabin won big on the television show Wheel of Fortune. Sabin solved two puzzles worth more than $13,000, and won an additional $30,000 in the bonus round. "It was a dream come true," Sabin said.    

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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