Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, December 2nd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, December 2nd

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NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- A suburban Oklahoma City police officer picked up an unusual subject found wandering along a rural road.
Norman police Officer Kyle Canaan says it took a little pushing, pulling and some animal feed, but he got the miniature donkey nicknamed "Squishy" into the back of his patrol car and out of harm's way Tuesday morning.
Canaan responded after a woman found the animal on the loose. She told local media she had a pen to keep the donkey in but no way to get it there.
The officer tells TV station KFOR the animal fit perfectly in his vehicle. He says, "I rolled the window down for it."
The woman who found Squishy says if an owner doesn't come forward, she plans to keep the donkey.

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NEW CASTLE, Pa. (AP) -- Pennsylvania environmental officials can't explain why residents of one city thought part of their town smelled like cat urine last year.
The New Castle News reports a state Department of Environmental Protection report was inconclusive.
The department says it's likely that some kind of waste containing mesityl oxide mixed with some kind of sulfur compound to create the smell. But air samples and testing of substances at the city's sewage treatment plant didn't turn up a source of the substances.
Mesityl oxide is used in paint removers, as a solvent and in insect repellents.
The city first contacted Pennsylvania environmental officials in October 2014.
New Castle is about 45 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

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PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) -- A New Hampshire police officer who responded to a shoplifting incident didn't make an arrest but instead paid the thief's tab after learning the woman stole the items to bake her child's birthday cake.
Officer Michael Kotsonis, a 19-year member of the Portsmouth force, responded to a call last week at the Ocean State Job Lots after a woman had stolen cake mix, shortening and "a couple things of frosting," the Portsmouth Herald reported.
After learning the woman's identity, Kotsonis went to her home to recover the items. It was there that he found that the woman was a mother who wanted to bake her child a birthday cake.
Kotsonis says the mother's actions weren't right, but, "I'm not going to take away a kid's birthday cake." He went back to the store and bought the items. The woman wasn't charged.
A store employee reported his gesture to the newspaper. Frank Warchol, acting deputy police chief, said he wouldn't have known about it either if not for a reporter's call. He said Kotsonis exemplifies the department's mission emphasizing community, commitment and compassion.
"I didn't do it for the attention," Kotsonis said Tuesday. "What you do when no one is looking, that's the character of someone."

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- A man jumped inside a polar bear pit Wednesday at the Copenhagen Zoo, forcing zookeepers to fire rubber bullets at the 621-kilogram (1,369-pound) bear so they could rescue him.
The man leaped into the enclosure shortly after noon as guests, including children, were watching the 10-year-old bear.
Zoo staffers at first yelled to distract the animal from his potential prey before others with firearms arrived, firing rubber bullets to get the huge animal to back off. Once the bear returned to its cage, zoo employees entered the enclosure to rescue the intruder.
"He walked up to the male bear of his own free will" but was able to get away with "only superficial wounds," said park manager Steffen Straede, who was visibly upset at the incident.
The man, reportedly in his twenties, was not identified and his motive for entering the enclosure was unclear. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The zoo has no plans to make any changes to the enclosures following Wednesday's incident, Straede added.
In July 2012, Siberian tigers fatally mauled a 21-year-old Afghan-born man inside an enclosure at the same zoo. The Copenhagen Zoo also made international headlines last year when it killed a giraffe for inbreeding reasons, then dissected it and fed it to lions in front of visitors, including children.

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MODESTO, Calif. (AP) -- A Modesto man's lucky hunch paid off when he won a $1,000 lottery prize and immediately bought more tickets - winning $10 million with one of them.
California lottery officials say Rodney Meadows was out running errands Nov. 23 when he decided to pick up some $30 California Lottery 30th anniversary scratcher tickets at a Modesto store. He won $1,000 on the first ticket he bought.
KCRA-TV reports Meadows decided to buy three more tickets a minute later and that's when he scratched the ticket that made him a millionaire.
Meadows says he had to ask the store clerk to check his ticket at the machine because he couldn't believe he had won $10 million.
He says he doesn't yet know how he'll spend his winnings.

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- A Turkish court overseeing the case of a doctor accused of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ruled that a committee of experts should assess whether the fictional Lord of the Rings character Gollum is good or bad.
Bilgin Ciftci faces up to two years in prison for allegedly insulting a state official by juxtaposing pictures of Gollum and Erdogan on social media.
Lawyer Hicran Danisman told the AP Wednesday that she was forced to argue in court this week that "Gollum is not a bad character" because she got "nowhere" with a defense case based on freedom of expression.
Danisman said that prompted the judge to rule that a committee, including psychologists and movie experts, should provide an assessment of Gollum's character.
Trial was adjourned until Feb. 23.

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Two men were fishing in Tasmania, when they suddenly had an unusual catch. 
It was more of a rescue though, when they pulled a big, brown, wombat into their boat. While wombats can swim, Bob Wilton and Craig Wilson say it seemed to be struggling to stay afloat in the choppy water. 
Wilson says if they hadn't been in the lake that day, the animal would have clearly drowned. It was about 250 yards from shore when they pulled him to safety. 
They lowered a net, and the marsupial climbed in. They let him walk around on their boat until they got back to shore where they released him. They say he got up and walked off like nothing had happened.

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A judge has sentenced a man in Wenatchee to 30 months in prison for drugs and weapons charges. 
48-year-old Martin Eugene Hoyer pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a firearm after a shooting that must have been pretty rough. 
He was reportedly smoking meth, when he shot himself in the scrotum while fighting off hallucinatory "Mexicans."
Hoyer admitted to smoking meth for two days before his arrest. He told police he was heard voices through an air vent, that were "a bunch of Mexicans and white guys" that were plotting with his neighbor to rob him. He also told police he saw "Mexicans in the trees" that were going to attack him outside his home, and two more that went into a different neighbor's apartment. When he went to that apartment with a gun in his waistband, it went off while he was trying to kick down the door. 
A bullet ricocheted off his hip, and hit him in the groin. He survived the injury. 

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An actor on "Game of Thrones" just set another record. Hafthor Bjornsson, who plays The Mountain, threw a keg, and broke his own world record. 
The 33 pound keg went flying more than 23 feet at the Giants Live Sweden event. 
Afterwards, the 27-year-old Icelandic giant said it was easy, and that he could have broken the roof.
Bjornsson has won Europe's Strongest Man contest twice, carrying a log that weighed more than 1,400 pounds.

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LOVELL, Maine (AP) - The American Chestnut Foundation says the tallest known American chestnut tree in North America has been found in a forest in southwestern Maine.
The Portland Press Herald reports the nonprofit conservation group said Tuesday that foresters with the Maine Forest Service and the University of Maine measured the tree in Lovell at 115 feet. The next-tallest American chestnut tree is about 20 feet shorter.
An official measurement was to take place Wednesday.
The tree is located on land donated to the University of Maine Foundation by the family of painter Douglas Volk.
A fungal pathogen has been deemed responsible for the decimation of the tree across the country. It's estimated that only a few dozen large chestnut trees are left standing in Maine.

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