The Range

When Animals Attack!

Torn from recent headlines: A bear rampaged through the eastside Udall Park and a nearby neighborhood before being captured by police officers and private wildlife officers; Game and Fish officials have enacted a policy of killing captured wildlife to prevent the spread of rabies; killer bees attacked a woman in Sierra Vista; and a flock of bats with newly born pups is preventing the completion of paving improvements on the Campbell Avenue bridge over the Rillito River. As long as the bats eat the West Nile-bearing mosquitoes that are on the way, we're OK with the delay.

Remember, citizens: Do your part to prevent mosquito infestation by eliminating standing water in your yard.

This summer, according to reports from our northwest-side field station, the bobcats are fighting with coyotes like, well, cats and dogs, according to station manager Carrie Stern, who doubles as TW's listings goddess.

Meanwhile, on the domestic animal front, Kim Smith of the Arizona Daily Star brings us the heartbreaking story of Cinnamon, a cute little Pomeranian who was killed in an attack by a Shepherd mix at a local dog park.

The Range's own visits to the dog park on Sixth Avenue south of Grant Road have been significantly curtailed following two separate attacks on TW newshound Cricket, one of which left her with a permanently disfigured ear. Cricket is now enjoying less-traumatic walks around the neighborhood.

He Coulda Been a Contender

Arizona's most savage resident, Mike Tyson, got knocked on his ass shortly before giving up after the sixth round in a fight against Irish boxer Kevin McBride. Before throwing in the towel, Tyson had head-butted McBride and attempted to break his arm in a clinch.

"I most likely won't fight anymore," Tyson told reporters after the fight. "I'm not going to disrespect the sport by losing to this caliber of fighters."

As opposed to disrespecting the sport by raping women, biting opponents, brawling outside the ring and generally behaving like the Incredible Hulk on a bad day? Have fun digging your way out of that $40 million debt, ya bum!

(Memo to C.J. Karamargin: Check with Matt Salmon to see if the GOP has tried to lure Tyson into next year's gubernatorial race!)

Here Comes the Judge

Gov. Janet Napolitano appointed attorney Scott Bales to the Arizona Supreme Court to replace the retiring Charles E. Jones. Bales worked for Napolitano in the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Attorney General's Office before moving on to private practice. He had also represented Napolitano in various political affairs.

Bales' appointment was opposed by the Arizona Taliban Center for Arizona Policy, the Christian conservative organization that's now gathering signatures to ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment to ban gay unions and other forms of counterfeit marriage.

Napolitano's choice of two Democrats in her first two Supreme Court picks has conservatives calling for a constitutional amendment to force Senate confirmation of gubernatorial picks.

In other legal news you might not have heard: A Santa Barbara County jury found Michael Jackson not guilty of charges of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor. Jury members said they had doubts regarding the credibility of the accuser and his family. The Range has doubts about the smarts of anyone who would allow their children to have sleepovers at Neverland Ranch.

Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. told The Associated Press that the deposed King of Pop would cease his unorthodox practice of sharing his bed with children, saying it "makes him vulnerable to false charges."

Wreckless Drivers

Tucson drivers aren't so bad after all! A study by Allstate Insurance shows that Tucson ranked 54th among 196 communities surveyed to determine accident rates. Tucsonans were 2.8 percent less likely to have a wreck than the national average. The Range wonders: Is this significant to anyone other than actuaries?