Mad Minute stories from Thursday, November 19th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, November 19th

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HIALEAH, Fla. (AP) -- Talk about some loose change.
A Miami-area mayor who is feuding with his local commission tried to use 360,000 pennies and nickels - that's 28 buckets full of coins - to pay a $4,000 ethics fine.
Instead of accepting the change, the ethics commission doubled the fine for Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez, saying he intentionally broke the rules because he knew the panel only accepted checks. And now the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust is suing the mayor.
The commission ruled in July that Hernandez lied about interest rates on a $180,000 loan to a jewelry salesman now jailed for a pyramid scheme.
El Nuevo Herald reports that Hernandez has called complaints against him a "political circus" and described commission members as "clowns."

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LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) -- Police were called to a central Pennsylvania office building after someone mistakenly thought a photographer's tripod was a gun.
LNP reports the incident happened about 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Griest Building in Lancaster.
The caller thought a machine gun was carried into the building, so police conducted a floor-by-floor search only to find the photographer and her tripod.
Employees at Industrial Resolution, a software firm in the building, took a photo of the responding officers and the photographer, who mugged for the camera. The company posted the image on its Facebook page.
Lancaster police Lt. Todd Umstead says the caller did the right thing that that police would "much rather respond to a call like this" and find nothing than not get a call when someone really has a gun.

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Utah man accused of calling in a hospital bomb threat because he was upset he couldn't attend his child's birth is being charged in federal court.
Michael Morlang was indicted Wednesday and faces up to 10 years if convicted, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah said in a news release.
The threat led to an evacuation and lockdown on Sept. 17 at a hospital in the small central Utah city of Richfield.
His wife and her father told investigators the day of the incident that Morlang made the bomb threat because he was angry about not being there for the birth, show court documents from state charges filed earlier this year.
The woman's father also told investigators that Morlang was upset because he heard his wife was going to have a procedure to prevent having more pregnancies.
A nurse told police she spoke with Morlang, and that he was "extremely upset that they were going forward with the birth" while he was still in Idaho.
Morlang acted like he didn't know of a threat when reached by phone that day while on a bus back to Idaho, Richfield City police investigators said in court documents. They weren't able to touch based with him after that.
Morlang is custody in Idaho on unrelated crime. It's not clear if he has an attorney.
The state charges filed in September against Morlang -one count of threat of terrorism - are being dismissed now that the federal government is pursuing charges, said U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The contraband was carefully wrapped in corn husks and concealed in the luggage of a traveler when authorities moved in for a tamale takedown at Los Angeles International Airport.
The search by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents turned up 450 pork tamales individually packaged in plastic bags.
"Although tamales are a popular holiday tradition, foreign meat products can carry serious animal diseases," said Anne Maricich, CBP acting director of field operations in Los Angeles.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Wednesday the customs form filed by the traveler from Mexico acknowledged the person was carrying food but had lied when asked if there was any meat.
Tamales contain cornmeal, meat or other fillings cooked in husks or leaves.
The tamales seized Nov. 2 at the airport were destroyed under CBP supervision. The traveler was assessed a $1,000 civil penalty for commercial activity with the intent to distribute.
During fiscal year 2014, CBP agriculture specialists nationwide issued 75,330 civil violations and intercepted more than 1.6 million animal by-product, meat and plant/soil quarantine products.

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BOSTON (AP) -- Few people are lucky enough to win $1 million in the lottery. But one Massachusetts woman has now done it twice.
Constance Carpenito, of Stoneham, recently won a $1 million prize on a scratch ticket in the $10,000,000 Diamond Millionaire instant game.
A spokesman for the Massachusetts Lottery says Carpenito also won $1 million on a scratch ticket back in 1996.
Both tickets were purchased at the same Stop & Shop supermarket on Main Street in her hometown. If that isn't enough, she also once bought a $20,000 winning ticket at the store.
Carpenito says she plays $20 in lottery tickets every week. She plans to put her most recent winnings toward a very special Christmas for her family.

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- A Denver-area store called Isis Books & Gifts wants the world to know its name comes from the Egyptian goddess of healing and motherhood and it isn't run by terrorists.
Co-owner Jeff Harrison said Wednesday that the suburban Denver shop has been vandalized five times in the past year or so, probably by people who mistake the name for ISIS, one of the acronyms for the Islamic State terrorist group.
The latest vandalism came last weekend when a store sign was smashed after the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 129 people.
The store sells books and gifts related to spirituality, religion and healing.
"Isis is the name of an Egyptian goddess, 3,500 years old at least, the goddess of women and healing and childbirth - basically the antithesis of everything the terrorists are about," he said.
Harrison suspects the vandals are "some ignorant people believing that somehow the terrorists have a store, a gift store, in the middle of Denver, Colorado."
Harrison didn't file a police report. He and his wife, Karen, have learned to put up with vandalism over the years, he said.
The store has been around since 1980 under the Isis name. The Harrisons have owned it since 1997.
Jeff Harrison said he's heard from other businesses with "Isis" in their names, asking if they planned to change. He tells them no.
"For now, we are definitely sticking with the name," he said.
The store has not suffered from the name confusion.
"Business has been fine. Actually on the uptick," Harrison said.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- Police say two car thieves made an unexpected stop after stealing a vehicle Wednesday morning: They dropped an 8-year-old boy off at school after they discovered him in the backseat.
Norfolk police spokesman Daniel Hudson says the boy was sitting in his mother's car in her employer's parking lot when the men got inside. The keys were in the ignition.
Hudson says the boy told police that the men asked him which school he attended and then took him there.
The mother called police after she returned to the parking lot and found the car and her son were missing.
Police say they found the boy unharmed at school, and the car was abandoned about 3 miles away.
No arrests have been made.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- An animal rights group is suing to get a chimpanzee named Candy out of an amusement park where, it says, she smokes cigarettes and is given soft drinks instead of water.
Candy is isolated in an inadequate cage at the Baton Rouge park, and should be moved to a sanctuary, according to the federal suit filed in Baton Rouge on Tuesday by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
"Defendants have for decades allowed members of the general public to throw items into Candy's cage, including lit cigarettes that Candy smokes. Just as with humans, cigarette smoking is very harmful for chimpanzees," and letting her smoke violates the Endangered Species Act, the suit states.
The lawsuit is the first filed under a new federal rule that requires captive chimps get the same protection as wild chimps, said Carter Dillard, the group's attorney. That rule, which was made public in June and took effect Sept. 14, changes captive chimps' classification from threatened to endangered, the same classification as wild chimpanzees.
Jennifer Treadway-Morris, attorney for park owner Sam Haynes, said she had not had time to read the lawsuit. However, she said, government agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cannot make rules retroactive.
She also cited a letter from a veterinarian stating that an attempt to retire Candy to the Baton Rouge Zoo failed.
"She was returned because she couldn't adjust and couldn't assimilate," Treadway-Morris said. "It seems that if they want her to have company, she doesn't want it."
The animal rights group said it went to court for Cathy Breaux, 62, and Holly Reynolds, 96, who have campaigned for decades to get Candy moved from the Dixie Landin' park and its predecessor.
"Cathy and Holly remain upset, distressed and concerned that Candy is isolated throughout the day, deprived of companionship with other chimpanzees, and insufficiently stimulated in her empty cage," the lawsuit states.
It said the women have seen visitors throw lit cigarettes into Candy's cage for the chimp to smoke.
City animal control officials cited the park in 2012 for not providing water for Candy, according to the suit.
"Defendants provide Candy exclusively with Coca-Cola instead, claiming that Candy does not like water. However, Candy has readily accepted and drunk water offered to her by visiting experts. Water, not Coca-Cola, is an essential requirement for chimpanzees," according to the suit.

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - An Arizona highway trooper getting ready to cite a speeding driver instead wound up helping a woman in another car who delivered a baby boy on the side of the road.
Trooper Miguel Rincon was conducting a traffic stop Saturday on a highway near the southern Arizona town of Bisbee when a car pulled up behind him. The driver told Rincon that her granddaughter was about to give birth and that they needed an ambulance.
But the baby couldn't wait.
Courtney Benavidez gave birth in the car. The baby was out before Rincon even had time to run over to her.
He let the speeding driver go.
Benavidez named the boy Carter Jett, a reference to how quickly he was born.
She was in labor for only about an hour and a half. He grandmother was driving her to the hospital, but Benavidez couldn't make it. The women pulled over when they saw the trooper's patrol car.
"I was just in shock, and I couldn't believe it," Benavidez told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "I think I went pale."
Rincon, a seven-year veteran with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, said he stayed calm and handed Benavidez a blanket for the baby. An ambulance arrived and took mom and infant to the hospital.
They were released the next day and are in good health.
"I'm just absolutely thankful and blessed because things could have gone down south very quickly, and I'm just thankful that everything turned out OK," Benavidez said.
Rincon said he doesn't have medical training to deliver a baby, but his instincts kicked in as he ran to get a blanket for the newborn.
"The only training I can say is I do have three kids of my own, so that kind of makes me a little familiar with the process," he said.
Benavidez, a third-grade teacher, said she was shocked by how quickly things moved. Her 4-year-old daughter was born after 12 hours of labor, and she wasn't expecting such a speedy delivery.
"It's very surreal how it happened, but I'm so thankful that everything turned out OK and we're all OK," she said.

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TROY, Mich. (AP) - Police say a man who failed a test for his driver's license threw the test and a pencil at a clerk and jumped over the counter in suburban Detroit./p>
Brandon Boles is in custody after the incident Friday at a Secretary of State office in Troy.
Police Capt. Robert Redmond tells WXYZ-TV (http://bit.ly/1Ml6lxX ) that the 22-year-old Boles became irate when a clerk told him he failed the test a second time because he used a cellphone.
Redmond says the clerk was "traumatized." Boles faces misdemeanor assault charges, but he also faces felony charges for a separate but related incident.
Redmond says Boles is accused of assaulting two officers after a court appearance.
 

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