Mad Minute Stories from Monday, December 21, 2015 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute Stories from Monday, December 21, 2015

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Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Monday, December 21, 2015:

School makes teacher remove pink Hello Kitty Christmas tree

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A Maine high school teacher is complaining that she was forced to remove a small pink Christmas tree festooned with the character Hello Kitty from her classroom.

Catherine Gordon is a math teacher at Bangor High School. She wrote on her Facebook page that "everything offends everyone all the time" and that it "just sucks the joy out of everything."

The news of the pink tree's removal took off on social media Monday. Even Republican congressman Bruce Poliquin weighed in, saying the school went too far in ordering the tree's removal.

WLBZ-TV reports the school superintendent issued a statement saying culture, traditions and holidays must have an educational component and must be tied to curriculum.


Deputies bring drivers to tears with $100 bills, not tickets

FORSYTH, Ga. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies in a central Georgia county have been surprising motorists, some of whom expect a ticket.

Instead, they've gotten $100 bills.

The Telegraph reports (http://bit.ly/1UItVrJ ) that Monroe County SheriffJohn Cary Bittick gave officers 54 $100 bills to hand out randomly over three days during the past week. The newspaper reports that the money came from an anonymous benefactor.

Bittick said the donor had seen the concept somewhere else, and thought it would be a great idea in light of tensions nationwide between police and the public.

The Telegraph reports that some of the recipients were so moved they broke into tears. But not everyone.

Deputy John Thompson said one motorist cussed him out before learning about the money, and she didn't get a $100 bill.

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Information from: The Macon Telegraph, http://www.macontelegraph.com


China names and shames 5 tourists over bad behavior
BEIJING (AP) -- China's tourism authority named and shamed another five tourists for bad behavior and says it is working with airlines on a possible flying ban.

Those added to the list of "uncivilized behavior" by tourists include two women and a man who brawled after one woman's seat was bumped during boarding of a flight from Cambodia to the western city of Chengdu.

The three were forcibly removed from the plane under captain's orders and the flight was delayed for one hour, the China National Tourism Administration said.

Another man was listed after he was arrested in Japan for assaulting a convenience store clerk whom he accused of disrespecting his wife. The last was a woman who attacked her tour guide with hot tea after learning the price of her son's ticket to a western China scenic site was not included in the package.

Their names and a description of their alleged misbehavior were entered onto the administration's list and will remain there for one to three years.

Over that period, they can be refused service by travel agents, airlines, hotels and scenic sites.

In a further step, the administration said it was working with major Chinese airlines on "enacting definite restrictive measures" against those on the list, which currently includes 16 names in total.

The government has grown concerned about the negative impact on China's image stemming from numerous incidents of bad behavior by Chinese tourists at home and abroad, ranging from fighting with air crews to defacing cultural artifacts.

Social media platforms have spread descriptions and video clips of the incidents, prompting widespread derision among the public and occasional online campaigns to identify the perpetrators.

Rising incomes, relaxed regulations and cheap flights have permitted record numbers of Chinese to travel in recent years. Among other frequent complaints are line-cutting, smoking where banned, littering and fouling public toilets


Prague zoo claims to have the longest salamander on Earth

PRAGUE (AP) -- Prague Zoo says it likely has the longest Chinese giant salamander now on Earth.

The critically endangered animal is the largest amphibian on the planet.

In a statement Sunday, the zoo says Karlo, a Chinese giant salamander it received 19 months ago from the State Museum of Natural History in Karlsruhe, Germany, is likely the biggest representative of its species. The zoo says, according to the latest measurements done Friday, that Karlo is 1.58 meters (5 feet, 2 and 3/16 inches) long.

Karlo's age is estimated at 37 to 38 years and weight is 35 kilograms (77 pounds).

The largest salamander on record was 1.8 meters (5 feet, 11 inches) long.

The zoo says its worldwide check didn't reveal any longer-living salamander.


Man Calls 911 When He Runs Out Of Rolling Papers, Police Say

Weed never expect this.

A man in Waynesboro, Virginia, was cited by police after they said he called 911 asking for rolling papers.

Kyle Dustin Head -- yes, that's his name -- was arrested early Thursday morning after he allegedly called 911 "in a disoriented state," according to a release from the Waynesboro Police Department.

Officials said the 24-year-old Head asked for rolling papers to be delivered, but the 911 dispatcher preferred to have two officers roll over instead.

The officers found the suspect sitting in a 2005 Chevy pickup truck which had a strong odor of marijuana emanating from it.

When the officers got closer, they noticed what looked like marijuana on Head's clothing, right ear, the truck dashboard and the passenger seat.

INFORMATION FROM: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kyle-dustin-head-calls-911-when-he-runs-out-of-rolling-papers_56787e21e4b0b958f657ac3f?utm_hp_ref=weird-news


'Star Wars' Fan Legally Changes Name To 'Darth Vader'

The man chose the name "Darth Vader" because it conveys leadership and toughness.

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) — Darth Vader is a tattooed 43-year-old former Marine who owns a gym and is raising funds online for a bone marrow transplant.

The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports (http://on.rocne.ws/1QT6KdI ) that a western New York man legally changed his name last year to match the villain in the "Star Wars" films.

The former Eric Welch, of Canandaigua, says he grew up in foster homes and didn't have strong family ties to his name.

The "Star Wars" fan says he chose Darth Vader for his new name because the character carries an aura of leadership and toughness.

He tests his own toughness by competing in half-marathons and endurance events. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 2002.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Motor Vehicles confirms that Darth Vader is his legal name.


New 911 dispatcher helps couple deliver baby on Utah highway

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah couple welcomed their fourth child into the world on the side of Interstate 15, coached through delivery problems by a 911 operator.

Dispatcher William Kalaher was new to the job and had only been taking solo calls for two weeks when he answered the call from the Eagle Mountain couple around 1 a.m. Friday, KUTV-TV reported (http://bit.ly/1UXq2ze ).

"I mean, we joke, 'Oh you're going to get a pregnancy call,'" Kalaher said, "and then it actually happens. You train for it, and then here we are. I really wasn't expecting it. But you've got to be ready for it. It's 911."

Kristin Allred gave birth to her 8.4-pound baby girl, Anne, in the family truck. She said she and her husband were about 6 miles from Intermountain Medical Center when she realized they weren't going to make it.

"My body told me I needed to push, and here she is!" Allred said.

The baby came out with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. She cried and then went limp.

Kristin's husband, Shay, had called 911. Kalaher asked if the baby was breathing — she wasn't — and then told the Allreds what to do.

"I need you to take a string — a shoelace, possibly — and tie it tightly around the umbilical cord about 6 inches from the baby. I need you to do it now and tell me when it's done," Kalaher can be heard telling Shay Allred during the 911 call.

The baby started breathing about 30 seconds later.

"As soon as we tilted her head back, she just gasped her first breath and it was like, ah, thank goodness," Shay Allred said.

The couple said it was comforting having Kalaher on the phone during the birth.

"He definitely helped us stay calm in the fact of helping her breathe, because that was just terrifying," said Kristin Allred.

Paramedics and police arrived about five minutes later. The mother and baby were admitted to the hospital Friday and released Sunday.

Kalaher said the birth was his first major call and the "best case scenario," because the Allreds listened to him and were able to get the baby breathing.

After the call, the first thing Kalaher did was call his mom.

"I was like, 'Mom, I delivered a baby on I-15!'" he said. "And she's like, 'What?'"

___

Information from: KUTV-TV, http://www.kutv.com/

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