Mad Minute stories from Friday, June 5th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Friday, June 5th

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 HOBBS, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico man is facing charges after police say he walked into an unlocked home, stole car keys and stunned a resident who found him baking a potato and raking leaves.

Patrick Lynn Waits, 45, was arrested early Tuesday following a bizarre chain of events that confused residents of a Hobbs home, the Hobbs News-Sun reports.

A female resident awoke to noise in her kitchen, and found Waits allegedly wiping down a countertop and baking a potato in her microwave oven, police said. "She asked him what he was doing there, and he told her he was making a potato," according to a police report.

When told to leave, a criminal complaint says Waits walked outside and left his potato in the microwave.

The report said Waits then went outside to rake leaves in the front yard.

The female resident convinced Waits to stay by saying she wanted to pay him for his service, police said. The move was apparently a ploy to get Waits to stay long enough before authorities arrived, police said.

Waits was found stumbling while walking, and he slurred when he talked, officials said.

Waits was arrested on burglary and unlawful entry charges. He also faces several felony warrants for failure to appear in court.

It was not known if Waits had an attorney.

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Senatobia, Mississippi- Three people are facing charges of disturbing the peace during a graduation ceremony in Senatobia, Mississippi.

According to the superintendent of the Senatobia Municipal School District, this isn't the first time outbursts have disrupted graduation ceremonies. 

Last Thursday night, when Henry Walker yelled and walked out as his sister got her diploma, he became one of three charged with disturbing the peace. The school district is looking for a fourth person they say also acted out. 

Linda Walker is upset, her son is one of those charged. 

She says he was just cheering for his baby sister. 

Superintendent Foster says the district encourages people to wait until all names are called before celebrating. 

That request is printed in the graduation program. 

"I hope it sends a message that everybody deserves a right to hear their child's name being called see their child walk across the stage," Superintendent Foster said. "We're talking about, a ceremony that's lasts about 55 minutes to an hour."

Henry Walker and the others charged in this case are due in justice court on June 9th.

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FAIRBANKS, AK (CNN) - People in Alaska's second-largest city are reporting a bizarre situation - strange-looking fish are falling from the sky.

The eel-like creatures are actually lampreys. At least four of the fish have been found in odd locations around Fairbanks.

Three were dead, but one was still alive and returned to a river.

Alaska fish and game wardens say the likely answer is birds. Biologists say seagulls may be catching the fish from the nearby Chena River and dropping them in flight.

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PORTLAND, Ore. - A homeless man who was allegedly exposing himself on Thursday morning along the Eastbank Esplanade found himself in a tough position.

Someone flagged down police and said a man was trapped in a tipped-over Honey Bucket at the foot of the Hawthorne Bridge.

Police say the man wasn't hurt, but he was covered in waste from the tank of the Honey Bucket. 

Officers decided not to arrest the man, and got him some clean clothes. Police weren't able to find the people who tipped the Honey Bucket. 

Portland Police say they discourage people from taking direct action in circumstances like this.

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A man in Manchester, England changed his name to Adam West to avoid paying an airline fee. 

Adam Armstrong goes by the name Adam West on Facebook - a nod to the actor who played Batman in the 1960s. But when his girlfriend's stepdad bought him a plane ticket with the name Adam West, it was going to cost him $336 to change it. 

The 19-year-old man says he really wanted to go on the trip, and it was cheaper to change his name and get a new passport; a total of $157. 

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PHOENIX (AP) -- It didn't take much rain to set a record in Phoenix.

The National Weather Service said Friday the 0.03 inch of rain recorded at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport by 4 p.m. was the largest amount for June 5.

Meteorologist Chris Kuhlman said that it had never officially rained in the desert city on this date.

"So far we had not anticipated that June would be a wet month, it almost never rains in the month of June in Phoenix," Kuhlman said.

Kuhlman said the rain was a rare event.

June is normally dry in Phoenix, but a thunderstorm with moisture from remnants of Tropical Storm Andres provided a bit of a change. Weather officials initially trumpeted the bit of precipitation on social media.

"We've now got (hash)RainOnThe5thOfJune. Officially measuring 0.01" at Sky Harbor. Record broke," the Weather Service office said in a Twitter post.

The Phoenix metropolitan area was also struck by lightning between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Friday morning, according to Kuhlman.

Officials were investigating lightning as a possible cause of house fires that occurred as the storm made its way through the Phoenix area early Friday morning.

Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Mark Vanacore said lightning was "surely a strong consideration" for two of the fires.

However, Vanacore said investigators would conduct "a thorough investigative process to ensure that all bases are covered."

House or mobile home fires also were reported in Glendale and Peoria. But no injuries were reported.

Meteorologist James Sawtelle said the Phoenix area should expect more isolated thunderstorms on Friday afternoon into the early hours of Saturday morning.

"There could be some places where small trees may get blown over or maybe even an occasional larger tree may be blown over here and there," Sawtelle said.

Sawtelle said Friday temperatures were 11 degrees below normal for the Phoenix metropolitan area.

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Tapping into the healing power of laughter, specially trained clowns will be hired by public hospitals in Argentina's largest province thanks to a new law that requires they be available to help treat child patients.

Andres Kogan, a pediatrician who oversees a hospital program with clowns, said Friday that the law passed last month would be implemented over the next several months.

Kogan said clowns don't just make children and their families feel better about being in a hospital, but also help doctors get information from children who are shy, have been abused or are not able to communicate for any reason.

Alejo Lacone, a 9-year-old left paralyzed after being hit by a car in March, is a good example of how that works. Because of a tracheotomy, the boy can't speak.

However, three clowns at the Central Hospital of Pediatrics Dr. Claudio Zin, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, are able to get him to smile by acting out in front of him. The clowns come to the hospital every Thursday, making the rounds to rooms with children.

"The clowns put on their noses and invite you to play with them," said hospital director Carlos Kambourian, adding that the therapeutic method is based on one used by Miami Children's Hospital.

Ludmila Arredes, Alejo Lacone's 19-year-old cousin, said the clowns have given the child something to look forward to.

"Since the clowns began coming, the nurses have noticed a difference, and so they have asked that they come more frequently," she said.

Under the law, hospitals will have wide leeway to decide how many clowns come and how frequently.

The province of Buenos Aires is home to about 15 million people and has more than 70 public hospitals. It borders the separate city of Buenos Aires.

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BOSTON (AP) -- Boston transit police say a man who slipped through turnstiles behind another customer to avoid paying the $2.10 fare had nearly $7,000 in cash on him.

Police say they stopped 35-year-old Timothy Chapman, of Woburn, Massachusetts, at the Back Bay station after they watched him engage in what's known as piggybacking by closely trailing a paying customer.

Officers preparing to ticket Chapman took him into custody after learning there was a warrant for his arrest on unspecified motor vehicle violations.

Police say that while processing Chapman on Thursday afternoon, they found he was carrying the large amount of cash.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Chapman had a lawyer who could comment on the accusations.

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Police in Fruitland Park Florida have arrested a man who officers say called 911 several times to hit on the dispatcher. 

44-year-old Edward Garcia allegedly called 911 two more times, after the dispatcher hung up on him the first time, after he asked if she was single. She hung up on him twice after that.  

Officers found him at a campsite at Lake Griffin State Park when they called his cell phone and it rang in his tent. 

Police found him lying in his tent with several beers. 

While officers were talking to him, he allegedly said he wanted to head butt the officer and kill him, and then spit in the officers face on their way to jail. 

He now faces charges of battery and misusing the 911 system. 

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LYNN, Mass. (AP) -- A Massachusetts man is facing charges after he was spotted outside a city elementary school dressed as a "Star Wars" storm trooper, complete with fake gun.

Forty-year-old George Cross donned the white plastic costume and walked near Brickett Elementary School in Lynn on Wednesday.

Cross says he just bought the costume and was walking through the neighborhood showing friends.

"I find your lack of sense disturbing."

But the principal called 911 to report a man with a gun, and the school was briefly locked down.

A police spokesman tells the Salem News the way things are in today's society, "you can't have that" and said Cross "used bad judgment."

Cross was released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty Thursday to disturbing a school and loitering.
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