Hot Links: Sick Cats, Drop Houses, and Mesa Museums

A Phoenix woman is facing jail time after trying to help a cat. ILeen Kay Barner has been in a dispute with a neighbor in the 2100 block of west Union Hills Drive, and had been served with a court order to stay away from the neighbor's property. But when a sick cat darted into her neighbor's yard, Barner says she tried to catch it. Barner says she was just trying to help a sick animal, but neighbors and police say she put a can of cat food on her neighbor's porch...Mesa police have discovered a possible drop-house for illegal immigrants at a vacant home. Police went to a house on South Frasier Drive after receiving a tip from a neighbor, and found several men in a truck parked outside and "suspicious activity" inside the house. Several of the suspects fled, but 12 were caught by police and turned over to Immigration Customs Enforcement...

The case of a Phoenix man charged with raping a woman and showing it on the Internet has been delayed, after a judge ruled prosecutors violated the due-process rights of the accused, Johnathan Hock. The judge's ruling effectively dismisses the charges of sexual assault, voyeurism, and surreptitious recording against Hock. Prosecutors must now seek a new indictment...The funeral for fallen Gilbert police Lieutenant Eric Shuhandler, who was fatally shot during a car chase last week, is scheduled for Wednesday at Westworld in Scottsdale. Well-wishers are asked to send monetary donations to the Wells Fargo account in Shuhandler's name instead of flowers...Mesa officials are spending $25,000 to conduct a study that will determine if an old U.S. Post Office building could become the third museum in downtown Mesa. The federal government gave the building to Mesa in 2002, when the city promised to use it as a public amenity. The building would probably house a new Mesa Historical Museum...Suspicious smoke led to an evacuation of a Fry's grocery store in Phoenix yesterday. Fire department crews were called to the store near 7th street and Bell Road about 1:30 p.m., where they determined a leak in a compressor in the meat department was causing smoke. The store was evacuated as a precaution, but no injuries were reported and the store has since reopened.

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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