Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, January 5th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, January 5th

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DETROIT (AP) -- A teen accused of robbing a Detroit bank didn't have a good getaway plan.
Police say a teller at a Chase bank activated electronic locks Monday, trapping the 15-year-old boy between a set of doors on his way out. He was arrested when officers arrived.
Officer Dan Donakowski tells the Detroit Free Press that the teen had threatened to use a bomb if the teller didn't give him money. Police don't believe he had a weapon.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A Pennsylvania company that publishes business newsletters will pay about $1.75 million to thousands of employees who had to clock out while going on short breaks, including for the bathroom.
A federal judge has given the U.S. Department of Labor and the Malvern-based company, American Future Systems Inc., until Thursday to submit proposals on how to manage the payment process, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The bill includes back pay and damages to 6,000 employees who worked at offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio between July 2009 and July 2013.
The Department of Labor filed a lawsuit in November 2012, claiming the company violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act because employees weren't earning the minimum wage- $7.25 per hour -when the company required them to clock out for breaks.
"No worker should have to face the choice: Do I take a bathroom break, or do I get paid?" said Adam Welsh, an attorney at the U.S. Department of Labor's Philadelphia office.
The law doesn't require companies to give workers personal breaks. But if it does offer breaks, it must pay workers for them.
The company issued the written policy in July 2009, saying that workers could take breaks "at any time" but those breaks wouldn't be paid. It had argued that federal law didn't require it to pay employees for short breaks because employees were completely relieved from duty and could do what they wanted during that time.
A judge ruled against the company on Dec. 16, citing Labor Department regulations.
The company's lawyer declined to comment.

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- A Democrat who won a seat on a Pennsylvania township's board of supervisors declined to be sworn in to replace the Republican incumbent she defeated.
Colleen Unroe said she doesn't have time for the job in Ferguson Township, and she now concedes she wasn't eligible to take office anyway because she hadn't lived in the township for a year when she defeated Republican Supervisor Drew Clemson in November.
The township and Clemson had sued to keep Unroe from taking office. The township dropped its lawsuit after she refused to be sworn in Monday night.
Clemson claims in his lawsuit, which is still pending, that a Centre County judge should name him as Unroe's replacement because he got the most votes of any legal candidate.
But Unroe's refusal to take office doesn't mean she wants Clemson to keep the seat. On the contrary, she wants the board to pick another replacement.
The unusual situation stems from a write-in campaign that Unroe and two others waged because they were upset with pro-development decisions the previous board of supervisors made regarding the water supply and suburban sprawl in this township near State College.
Unroe and the other write-in candidates who won seats, Peter Buckland and Laura Dininni, opposed the measures because of their supposed impact on the environment and the township's water resources.
Although Unroe legally ran for office under state law, she was forbidden to take office under the township's charter, which requires a year's residency before the election.
Unroe said she tried to find someone to replace her on the ballot or have her name removed before the election, but both failed.
The other township supervisors have 45 days to fill her vacancy. That person must then run for a two-year term in the next municipal election.
"Voters clearly demonstrated they want change," she said.

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CINCINNATI (AP) -- An Ohio man pledged Tuesday to not let his "zombie Nativity" display die without a fight, while an apparent supporter dressed as a zombie was jailed for contempt of court.
Jasen Dixon pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of violating zoning rules in the Cincinnati suburb of Sycamore Township. He is due back in court Feb. 2 for a hearing on the case.
"It's a First Amendment issue," Dixon told reporters outside a Hamilton County a courtroom, saying he's not worried about potentially having to pay fines that could total in the thousands.
He's been at odds with township officials the past two Decembers about his front yard display and said he made changes to comply.
It features ghoulish figures including a sharp-toothed creature in the manger where baby Jesus would be in traditional Christmas Nativities. It has drawn some complaints, but also widespread attention.
Dixon said he took the display down after Christmas, but he told WCPO-TV he plans to bring it back "bigger and better" next holiday season.
Township officials have declared that they aren't anti-zombie, but are enforcing rules about an improper "accessory use" structure in a front yard.
In other zombie-related developments in Cincinnati on Tuesday, a man who wore make-up and dressed as a zombie in an apparent show of support for Dixon was held in contempt of court for disrupting an unrelated civil trial.
Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman found John Thomer, 28, guilty of contempt that obstructed the administration of justice.
Specifically, the judge wrote, he "was growling into a megaphone and disrupted my trial."
Ruehlman said Thomer was given three chances to stop and refused. He added that he had him arrested "not for the content of his speech," but because of the loud delivery method by megaphone.
Thomer was ordered held for three days in Hamilton County Jail. No messages could be left for him there Tuesday.

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NAMPA, Idaho (AP) - One man's back hair is another man's canvas.
At least that's how Mike Wolfe, 35, of Nampa, Idaho, has decided to approach manscaping.
Wolfe tells KTVB-TV that after years of feeling ashamed of his body hair, he asked a friend in 2008 to trim an American flag on his back rather than undergoing hair removal processes like shaving or waxing. Since then, the two meet up several times throughout the year to design a new creation onto Wolfe's back.
"Pssh, it's manhandling back hair," said Wolfe. "It's disgusting. But it's funny. You can't deny it's funny."
Tyler Harding, a former graphic artist who has been friends with Wolfe for more than a decade, says it takes about an hour to complete the artistic trim.
And the creations can now be seen on a calendar - called a Calend-hair - available for $20. Some proceeds will benefit a charity at Wolfe's church.
Designs are uniquely named, such as Grim Reap-hair for October and M-hair-achi Band for May.
"Everybody always makes fun of the guy with back hair," Wolfe said. "Well now it's my turn to shine, right?"
Wolfe's wife takes some credit for him flaunting his fur. When they went on their first date, Wolfe told her he was hairy. He felt nervous at the time, but she took it in stride.
"Looking back now this might be because of me," Jamie Wolfe said. "Maybe I shouldn't have given him so much confidence in his back hair."

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FLEETWOOD, Pa. (AP) - Police say a rookie firefighter has been charged with arson for three separate fires in his Pennsylvania department's coverage area.
Fleetwood police say 19-year-old Cody Weidner was arrested Sunday on charges including arson and risking or causing a catastrophe.
Fleetwood Fire Company Chief John Manmiller says the arrest comes after suspicious fires have plagued the area since August. Some remain unsolved.
Police say Weidner was questioned Saturday after witness accounts and surveillance linked him to the fires.
He's accused of setting a shed fire Saturday in Maxatawny Township, a garage fire Friday in Fleetwood and a third fire at a vacant house in Fleetwood in August. No one was injured.
In Saturday's blaze, a shed, barn and tractor were destroyed.Online court documents don't list an attorney for Weidner and his home phone rang unanswered.

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MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - A New Hampshire man found his perfect match in more ways than one when he first met his girlfriend on a golf course last summer.
Forty-nine-year-old Jack Simard of Manchester is slated for his second kidney transplant around Valentine's Day and the donor is his girlfriend, Michelle LaBranche.
WMUR-TV reports the two avid golfers met at Stonebridge Country Club in Goffstown and fell in love. When LaBranche found out Simard was seeking a kidney donor, she tested to see if she was eligible without telling him.
Doctors were surprised that her kidneys turned out to be compatible.
Simard's first kidney transplant was 19 years ago. His sister was the donor.
LaBranche says Simard is her future, and she wants to help him have a healthy life.

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A man accused of armed robbery and taking a Snapchat selfie with his victim has been arrested, according to a Northern California police department.
Authorities in Pacific Grove continue to search for two other suspects believed to be involved in Wednesday's bizarre incident.
It occurred at Lovers Point Park, according to the Pacific Grove Police Department. Victor Almanza-Martinez, 18, of Castroville, and two other men allegedly approached four victims and robbed them of their belongings, including keys to a 2013 black Chrysler 200.
The suspects fled in the Chrysler, which is still missing, but not before Almanza-Martinez and one of the female victims exchanged Snapchat information and posed for a selfie together, police said.
The selfie was apparently a break in the case, police said, adding that it helped them track down Almanza-Martinez.
The suspect was subsequently arrested and charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, possession of stolen property, conspiracy, violation of probation and gang enhancements. Almanza-Martinez is being held at the Monterey County Jail with bail set at $170,000.
It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.
Police are asking that anyone with information about this robbery contact detectives at (831) 646-6926. 

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A newly released book certainly has a different opinion about what happened to Amelia Earheart. 
The pilot likely ran out of fuel and crashed her plane into the Pacific Ocean back in 1947, and she was never seen again. But in his new book, "Amelia Earhart: Beyond the Grave" the writer WC Jameson says that's not what happened. 
He talks about and elaborates on a theory that Earhart was a spy, and got shot down or captured by the Japanese while on a mission to photograph the Japanese military.
The book claims FDR knew about the whole thing, but never said anything. It goes on to say Earhart was released by the Japanese in 1945, and lived in the US under the name Irene Craigmile Bolam until she died in 1982.

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A town in China has built a massive statue of Chairman Mao Zedong, and I mean massive. 
The massive gold colored statue now stands in the Henan province, in an area where nearly 45-million people died from famine in the 1950s as a result of the former communist ruler's leadership.
It stands 120 feet tall, and cost nearly half a million US dollars to make, yet the province is one of China's poorest. 
A number of businessmen and villagers reportedly paid for the statue. 
 

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