Mad Minute stories for Monday, November 9th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories for Monday, November 9th

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LONDON (AP) - The old adage says an Englishman's home is his castle. But a court says Robert Fidler's castle can't be his home.
A judge ruled Monday that the 66-year-old farmer will go to prison if he doesn't demolish a mock-Tudor castle he built without planning permission.
Fidler built the four-bedroom structure - complete with two turrets - on his farm about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of London in 2000, keeping it hidden behind piles of straw bales and tarpaulin.
Local authorities ordered him to tear it down in 2007, saying it breached planning rules designed to protect the countryside, and Fidler lost several legal challenges against the order.
High Court judge Ian Dove said Fidler would be jailed for three months for "intentional defiance" unless he complied by June 6, 2016.
"This process has gone on now for many years," the judge said. "It is time now for those breaches of planning control to be remedied and that is what will happen. Otherwise there will be serious consequences."
Fidler, who represented himself in court, claimed the local council was out to destroy his life and argued that he couldn't demolish the building because he had discovered endangered bats and newts inside. He left court without speaking after the ruling.

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TIFFIN, Ohio (AP) -- Police say an Ohio man was drunk when he had his 9-year-old neighbor drive him to a gas station to buy barbecue sauce for their chicken dinner.
A Tiffin police spokesman tells The Advertiser-Tribune that the boy drove the man to the gas station Saturday evening, but clerks wouldn't let the child drive home and reported the situation. Police say the 27-year-old man tried to drive home and was pulled over by officers.
Police say the man's blood-alcohol content was several times the legal limit. They say he faces several charges, including child endangering, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, refusing a chemical breath test and driving under suspension.
Police say the man had the child over for dinner, and the boy's parents didn't know the neighbor was drunk.

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) -- Engineers are trying to determine what caused a drainage structure to collapse beneath the parking lot of a new restaurant, opening a gap that swallowed at least 14 vehicles, a mayor in eastern Mississippi said Monday.
Meridian Mayor Percy Bland declared a state of emergency that will allow the city to remove the vehicles and to hire engineers to assess the collapse.
Ten cars, three sport utility vehicles and a pickup truck are visible, Bland said in a news release.
No one was hurt when the parking lot collapsed Saturday night at the IHOP restaurant that had opened four days earlier on an Interstate 20 frontage road.
The collapse opened a hole 30 feet wide and 360 feet long. It follows a culvert that channels water to a creek.
"We are moving as fast as we can to access the situation and determine the cause of the drainage structure collapse," Bland said. "Our biggest concern right now is the safety of our citizens."

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BOSTON (AP) - A legally blind barber was awarded $100,000 by a Massachusetts commission against discrimination after it says he was wrongly fired.
The Boston Herald reported Saturday that Joel Nixon had been working for Tony's Barber Shop in Norton for a year before his boss discovered his condition.
The 29-year-old has retinitis pigmentosa, which affects his peripheral vision and makes it hard for him to see at night. He's been declared legally blind by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, and Nixon said there's a possibility he may lose his sight forever.
"I could wake up someday and be completely blind, but my goal is to have a nice home with a nice backyard for my son," a tearful Nixon told the Herald. "I've never been to Disneyland, and I want to take him. I want to take him before I lose my vision. I'm trying to do the best I can."
But Nixon said it hasn't affected his work. Barber shop owner Tony Morales fired him in 2012 after he tripped over a customer's legs and then later that day tripped over a chair in the waiting room, Nixon said.
Morales disputes Nixon's account, saying Nixon wasn't a licensed barber and simply wasn't pulling his weight in the shop. "It's a bunch of lies," he told the Herald. "All of this is false accusations."
Morales said he plans to appeal the state's Friday decision, which awarded Nixon $75,000 in lost wages and $25,000 for emotional distress.
Nixon said after his firing, he struggled to find employment, saw his condo go into foreclosure and was forced to apply for food stamps and appeal to charities for Christmas gifts for his family.
He said he's still cutting hair for loyal customers - who call him the "Blind Barber."

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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) -- Andre Monterio has a fishing story about one that got away and eventually was caught.
But what he pulled from Lake Michigan near Grand Haven in September had no scales or gills. It was a small digital camera knocked overboard two years ago from another boat.
WZZM-TV reports that Monterio put the camera's memory card in his computer and saw "Mike's Family Pharmacy" in one photo. He contacted pharmacist Mike Cook at the shop in Montague, northwest of Grand Rapids.
Cook was on the boat when the camera was lost. He relayed the story to Deb Hays of Whitehall. The camera belonged to her husband.
Hays told the television station that "when something falls in a great lake, your chance of getting it back is slim to none."

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SUGAR LAND, Texas (AP) -- An alligator dubbed Godzilla who tips the scales at more than 800 pounds is being taken to a gator reserve to live out its days, after being found wandering outside a Houston-area shopping center.
Godzilla was discovered Saturday by people arriving for work at the center in Sugar Land. It's believed he wandered over to the plaza from a nearby creek.
Christy Kroboth is licensed by the state as a "nuisance alligator trapper." She was called to help subdue Godzilla and cart him away.
She says once he was muzzled and restrained, a forklift was borrowed from Home Depot to load him onto a truck.
Kroboth says Godzilla is blind in one eye and has only partial sight in the other. He's going to the reserve for his safety.

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A veterinarian has created a new type of cat that looks like a werewolf. 
The Lykoi, as Dr. Johnny Gobble calls them, got their look from a natural mutation that started showing up in domestic shorthair cats about 20 years ago. 
Gobble says he started breeding the Lykoi in 2010. The kittens looked like little hunting dogs, which intrigued him. The Lykoi molt, and sometimes they lose their hair completely. They also have no undercoat, and they don't have hair around their eyes, nose, or mouth. 
His website describes them as the following:
"I like to compare the Lykoi to hunting dogs. They are extremely loyal to their owners (slaves), very scent motivated (yes, many cats are...but these guys go almost 'on point' when they get a whiff of something!), and very intelligent. They are aware of EVERYTHING going on around them. They can be clingy at times, but generally if you are too busy to snuggle they will take 'no' as an answer and will go amuse themselves...as long as they are close enough to keep an eye on you!"
He says there aren't any available right now, but they sell for between $1,500 and $2,500.

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A fisherman had quite the unusual catch in the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn... a three-eyed catfish.
He showed witnesses the bizarre find, and told them he planned to eat it. 
People in the area say it's no surprise there are mutant fish living in the canal, as it's notoriously polluted. 
They told the fisherman not to eat it, but he didn't seem to mind. 

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PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man has been arrested after authorities say he was driving drunk and crashed into singer Rod Stewart's mailbox at his home in Palm Beach.
Palm Beach Police say 37-year-old Michael Hutson Lutz was weaving on the road when he was pulled him over Tuesday. According to the arrest report, Lutz hit Stewart's mailbox as he tried to pull over. The damage was estimated at $500.
Authorities said Lutz had a blood-alcohol level of almost three times the legal limit. The News Herald reports Lutz was charged with driving under the influence with property damage.
A message could not be left at the jail Saturday and it's unclear if Lutz had retained an attorney who could comment on the charges.

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