Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, June 16th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, June 16th

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 GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- An Arizona Coyotes fan got to take out her frustration on the mayor behind the decision to send the hockey team packing.

KPNX-TV reports that disgruntled fan Ronda Pearson used a stun gun on Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers on Saturday as part of a charity pledge.

Weiers volunteered to be stunned with a Taser at the mall event if a $10,000 donation was made to an Arizona charity that supports first-responders.

Firefighters determined Weiers was not injured.

Organizers say Pearson and another Coyotes fan showed up with a $10,000 money order.

Weiers and the Glendale City Council voted Wednesday to end an arena lease agreement with the Coyotes. A judge on Friday temporarily halted its termination.

Pearson gained attention on social media for a public rant directed at Weiers.

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It's a story that's getting a lot of buzz.

A bomb squad blew up a briefcase and other suspicious items in a Pittsburgh man's car Monday after he robbed a bank, police said.

With a sex toy. Specifically, a vibrator.

Aaron Stein, 35, faces a preliminary hearing June 25 in Allegheny County Magisterial District Court on nine felony counts including aggravated assault, robbery, threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction and the unusual charge of possessing a facsimile weapon of mass destruction, according to court documents.

That last one would be the vibrator.

The Allegheny County Bomb Squad detonates a suspicious device found in a car after bank robbery Monday in Crafton, Pennsylvania. WPXI-TV

Stein was arrested after a PNC Bank in the Pittsburgh suburb of Crafton was robbed of an undisclosed amount of money Monday. Crafton Police Chief Mark Sumpter told NBC station WPXI of Pittsburgh that Stein "stated he had a bomb, showed the teller wires hanging out from his shirt and demanded cash."

The robber drove off in a white Toyota, which was pulled over on a ramp to northbound Interstate 79 by Robinson Township police, Sumpter said.

Officers found money in a garbage bag, and beneath the front passenger seat, they found the device Stein is accused of having used in the bank robbery - "a makeshift box he made out of a box, black tape, vibrator and cellphone," Sumpter said.

A bomb squad dog checked the device and a briefcase that officers found in the car. Both were detonated as a precaution, police said.

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If you were ever called on to throw out a first pitch and you botched it, you have even less of an excuse today than you had yesterday.

Tom Willis was born with no arms. Using his foot, he threw a perfect strike as the first pitch in the Mariners-Giants game this week.

It's part of his "Pitch for Awareness" national tour. 

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England's prestigious University of Cambridge is hiring a new professor to lead a new research center - courtesy of your child's favorite toy company.

As described in the latest edition of the Cambridge University Reporter, the new hire will officially be known as the "LEGO Professorship of Play in Education, Development, and Learning," and will lead a research center of the same name.

The job, the Reporter says, "should be open to all those whose work falls within the general field of the title of the office."

The LEGO foundation, which provided the university with $6.2 million in funding, owns 25 percent of the LEGO Group, the nearly century-old, Denmark-based toy company. The foundation's mission, according to its website, is "to support children's play, learning and creativity."

The foundation says that it "actively collaborates" with academics from MIT and Cambridge, and that it conducts research examining "the importance of recognizing playfulness and creativity," for instance, and how confidence contributes to intellect.

The professorship was approved earlier this year by the university's general board and is to begin October 1.

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A new species of octopus is so cute, scientists are thinking about adding the word "adorable" to its scientific name. It looks like a combination of a Pac-Man ghost and a character from Pokemon. 

A postdoctoral fellow at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute is working to describe the octopus, which means she gets to help choose its name. She says she's considering "Opisthoteuthis Adorabilis."

That name means the octopus belongs to the Opisthoteuthis genus, which is the same as the tiny pink octopus in Finding Nemo. 

This new type of octopus has been seen since 1990, but they haven't been scientifically described until now. 

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AKRON, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio pet rescue is searching for seven rare pythons that were stolen from the shop over the weekend.

Akron Rattery and Reptile Rescue CEO Robin Everley says the snakes were taken Saturday when thieves cut a hole in a wall in an adjacent building and broke in. She says the burglars set off the store's alarm, snatched the snakes and dashed away in seconds.

The snakes are all about six months old or younger and can grow up to 30 feet long. She says the snakes are worth $6,000.

Everley says she's worried about the health of the snakes. One snake is pregnant, another has a severe burn and the others are suffering from unspecified injuries.

The rescue serves as a pet store and a sanctuary for rare snakes.

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- It's one thing to outlast hundreds or thousands of poker players to win one of the World Series of Poker's 68 events and the Las Vegas tournament's coveted gold bracelet.

It's another thing entirely to win a game you've never played before.

Christian Pham of St. Paul, Minnesota, did exactly that Thursday, rising to the top of 219 players, including a few poker icons. By accident.

The 40-year-old professional poker player said he intended to play no-limit Texas Hold `em but instead inadvertently signed up for a different game happening the same day: so-called no-limit deuce-to-seven draw lowball. The cost? A $1,500 buy-in.

"It's a totally different game. Different mindset. Different strategies," said Shawn Harris, Pham's dealer at the final table.

Essentially, the goal is to have the lowest poker hand, no straights or flushes, and if a player ends up with a pair, it's better if it's a pair of twos. Players can also draw cards.

The event was just one of 68, all offering a chance at a golden bracelet prize, happening in Las Vegas at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino throughout the 51-day World Series of Poker that started on May 27 and culminates with the closely watched Main Event.

Pham said he didn't realize his mistake until he was dealt five cards instead of the usual two. He panicked, then observed, leaning on helpful players who advised him what beat what.

"At first you suspect an act, but if it was, it was very good," said Chris Mecklin who was sitting next to Pham when the game's newbie realized he had made a mistake. He didn't know it would be a fortuitous one.

Mecklin said it became clear that Pham was an experienced player, just not in this game. When he won a hand with the best set of cards one can get in the game - a two, three, four, five and seven - he said Pham seemed confused that he happened to be holding the most desired combination of cards.

The next day, Mecklin signed into WSOP.com to check on the game's results.

"Imagine my surprise when I see the photo of the chip leader!" he said in an email.

Pham said the guidance from his fellow players at the table helped, and he studied up the night in between. In the end, he said it was his tournament acumen for when and how much to bet and manage his chips that got him to the top.

On Friday, he was $81,314 richer and held up his gold bracelet, the tournament's version of a Super Bowl ring, and stood on stage as tournament organizers and players stood for the playing of Vietnam's national anthem. Every winner of the tournament's 68 events gets to hear his or her anthem of choice.

Pham moved 15 years ago from Vietnam to Minnesota, where he delivered newspapers. He played his first cash poker game in 2008 and later won second place in a local tournament along with several thousand dollars.

He didn't think of poker as a way to make a living, though, and gave it up until 2012.

Then he won a $200 satellite tournament in 2014 that sent him to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker's circuit main event where he won the gold ring and $214,332.

"After that, I thought this game might be very good to me," he said.

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LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. - Palm Beach County Sheriff deputies say a man set his house on fire after making a bomb out of a bowling ball. 

Deputies say 21-year-old Tyler Butler filled a bowling ball with gunpowder, and connected it to a long rope for a wick. But deputies arrested him before he could set the rope on fire. 

Butler is now in jail on arson charges. Deputies say he confessed to setting his house on fire and making the bomb. Technicians were able to dismantle the explosive before it went off. 

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Firefighters in Presque Isle, Maine had to rescue a woman after she climbed into a tree to rescue her cat, and got stuck. 

Firefighters say the woman was in her 60s, and had climbed around 80 feet. Luckily she brought her cell phone with her, and called 911 from the top of the tree.

When rescuers got there, they couldn't see the woman at first, and it was hard to hear her from the ground, but eventually they found her. 

When they sent up the latter to get her, the woman refused to leave without her cat, but later changed her mind. 

Firefighters tried to get the cat multiple times, but it wouldn't budge for them, Luckily the cat came down on its own a short time later. 

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A man in Wilmington, California claims he found a breaded and deep fried rat in his KFC meal. 

Devorise Dixon says he took a closer look when he saw what he thought was a tail, and a strangely shaped piece of chicken.

He uploaded several pictures, and then sealed it up and put it in his freezer. When he went back to the KFC, he complained to the manager. 

KFC says it did an immediate investigation, and found no evidence to support the claim. 
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