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Nation in brief: Rabid bobcat attacks Arizona hikers

Fri., April 25, 2008

A couple hiking in the mountains outside Tucson were clawed and bitten by a rabid bobcat that did not relent until the man killed it with his geologist’s hammer.

Rich Thompson, a geologist at the University of Arizona, and his wife, a marine biologist at the school, were receiving rabies shots after Saturday’s attack.

Thompson said he knew the cat was rabid the moment he saw it staring at him and Katrina Mangin in the Santa Rita Mountains.

He said they tried to get away but the bobcat pursued them, lunging at Mangin, climbing up her legs and wrapping its body around her, clawing and biting.

The couple fought off the bobcat, but it continued attacking and jumped on Thompson’s back.

Finally, Thompson took out his hammer and killed the animal.

“It’s very sad,” Thompson said. “This poor kitty cat was deranged by its disease-riddled brain. I love the native cats. It was terrible to have to kill it.”


Senator chastised in attorney probe

Sen. Pete Domenici was admonished Thursday for his “appearance of impropriety” in connection with the firing of a U.S. attorney, one of nine prosecutors who were dismissed in 2006, leading to investigations of the Justice Department and the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales last September.

The Senate ethics committee found that Domenici, R-N.M., inappropriately called his local federal prosecutor to ask about an investigation of New Mexico Democrats on the eve of the 2006 midterm elections.

“You should have known that a federal prosecutor receiving such a telephone call, coupled with an approaching election which may have turned on or been influenced by the prosecutor’s actions in the corruption matter, created an appearance of impropriety that reflected unfavorably on the Senate,” the committee wrote in a three-page letter.

The “public letter of qualified admonition” is a mild form of punishment under Senate rules, ending a 13-month investigation in which the panel interviewed Domenici, his staff and David Iglesias, a former U.S. attorney for New Mexico.

Six weeks after Domenici’s phone call to Iglesias, the prosecutor was one of seven U.S. attorneys fired on one day, Dec. 7, 2006.


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