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Mercury, Cream And Sugar

Orange Grove Road and La Cholla Boulevard, Dec. 14, 9:34 a.m.

An employee at a nursing home told authorities a subordinate tried to poison her, according to a Pima County Sheriff's Department report.

The woman works at a nursing home in the 6200 block of North La Cholla Boulevard, the report said. According to a list of nursing homes compiled by the Arizona Department of Health Services, the only institution on that block is the Life Care Center of Tucson, 6211 N. La Cholla Blvd.

The woman said she was pulled aside by supervisors, who informed her that a co-worker had told them one of the woman's subordinates broke open a mercury thermometer and dumped its contents into her coffee.

The nursing home immediately terminated the subordinate. According to the report, at least three people heard the man admitting he had slipped mercury into his superior's coffee, but no one actually saw him doing it.

Blood work showed the woman's mercury levels to be within acceptable parameters. However, the woman said she had a respiratory illness following the alleged incident. Mercury poisoning can cause damage to the respiratory system.


Chalk It Up To Kids

Cortaro Farms and Thornydale Roads, Dec. 11, 10:35 a.m.

A woman found a holiday greeting scrawled on her driveway that didn't make her feel warm and fuzzy inside, a PCSD report said.

The woman told deputies she looked out a window of her home and saw the scribbling, which was done using chalk. Upon investigation, she found that it said "Merry Christmas child beater." She promptly washed away the writing and called authorities.

A neighbor reportedly told the woman she had seen children writing with chalk in the vicinity, but didn't see them scribbling the yuletide greeting that had graced the woman's driveway.


Copper Crisis

Numerous Locations And Times

Large quantities of copper continue to be pilfered. However, a plunge in copper prices last week could portend a plunge in thefts. (See "Copper Wars," Currents. Nov. 23, 2006.)

One PCSD report from Dec. 13 documented the theft of 25 feet of copper tubing from a construction site. The superintendent for construction company Sierra Pacific Homes said 95 percent of their homes in the area west of Tucson had been burglarized.

About $6,000 worth of copper wiring was stolen from another home that was under construction near River and Craycroft roads on Dec. 11, a second PCSD report stated.

Approximately 6 feet of copper piping was stolen from the exterior of a building at Orange Grove and Oracle roads, said yet another PCSD report dated Dec. 16.

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