Mad Minute stories from Thursday, January 14th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, January 14th

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PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pittsburgh police are searching for two would-be carjackers who apparently can't drive a stick-shift.
Police have been looking for the pair since Tuesday night, when one of them tapped on a 28-year-old driver's side window with a gun.
The two ordered the man out of his car and demanded money. When the victim said he had none, they demanded his cellphone and car keys.
Police spokeswoman Emily Schaffer says when the victim told the suspect the car had a manual transmission they decided they didn't want it and ran away.

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- Authorities say a Canadian man was arrested while pulling a sled carrying more than 180 pounds of prescription pills across the border into the United States.
The U.S. attorney's office says 21-year-old Cedrik Bourgault-Morin (bohr-GOH' moh-RAN') was apprehended early Wednesday after he crossed the border from Quebec along a railroad line into North Troy.
Prosecutors say Bourgault-Morin was wearing white camouflage and Border Patrol agents were alerted to his presence when he triggered a sensor.
Prosecutors say agents found 300 vacuum-sealed bags of Xanax pills in a duffel bag on the sled. Xanax is an anti-anxiety medication.
They say the pills had a street value of $1.6 million.
Bourgault-Morin was being held Thursday in a Vermont prison. His attorney didn't return a call seeking comment.

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BOSTON (AP) -- SWAT Cat is back!
The Boston Police Department's SWAT team has been reunited with its beloved, unofficial mascot.
The department posted on its website that SWAT Cat returned to the unit's home base in the city's Roxbury neighborhood Thursday morning.
The female stray with white, black and light orange fur first started prowling around in 2013, looking for belly rubs and free meals. But she disappeared in late November.
Police feared the worst and even put out an all-points bulletin for the missing feline, posting a shot on Facebook of SWAT Cat lounging on the hood of an armored vehicle.
The department said Thursday that officers are "just happy that she was safe all this time."

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Niceville, FL - If this doesn't make you respect what police officers go through, I don't know what will.
When an officer in Niceville pulled over a truck that was driving erratically, he realized the driver was clearly intoxicated.
First, he was covered in vomit. Second, when the officer asked the driver where he was coming from, the man said "Bluewater Bay," which was in the opposite direction. The officer pointed that out, but the driver insisted that's where he was coming from, and where he was going.
When the officer asked for his license and registration, that's when things got rough. 
Instead of handing him his license, the man handed the officer a coupon for the restaurant, Ruby Tuesday's, claiming it was his license. The officer pointed out that it was a coupon for Ruby Tuesday's, so the driver handed him a plastic sheet protector, and said that was actually his license. 
Not surprisingly, the man failed a sobriety test, and blew a 0.219 and a 0.205. The officer arrested him for a DUI.

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvanians wanting to get familiar with the now trendy ukulele can soon borrow one from the library.
The Centre Daily Times reports the small, four-stringed cousin of the guitar will be available at some Centre County libraries through an initiative of the Allegheny Ukulele Kollective. The Altoona-based ukulele club wants to eventually make the instruments available at 32 libraries in Blair, Bedford, Centre and Cambria counties.
The group's co-director Mike Holzer librarians will get trained by the club on how to use the instrument so they can help patrons get started.
A number of librarians from Centre County had a lesson turn into a jam session on Sunday. They learned to strum and tune and ended up learning a few songs.
The ukulele kits will come with the instrument, a bag, a tuner and an instruction book.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Police say a Vikings fan who was tailgating at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds broke into a police substation after the team's loss to Seattle, apparently thinking it was his own home.
State Fair police spokeswoman Brooke Blakey says the 30-year-old man appeared to be drunk when he entered the station Sunday. The station resembles a house.
Blakey says people use the fairgrounds to tailgate at Vikings games, which are played at nearby TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota.
Blakey says a patrol officer discovered the tailgater inside the substation around 4 p.m. The tailgater was arrested, booked into the Ramsey County jail and released. Trespassing charges are pending.
The Vikings lost 10-9 when Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal try in Sunday's wild-card playoff game.

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Well-known poker professional Antonio Esfandiari was disqualified from a tournament for urinating in a bottle at the table.
Yes, you read that right. The often unpredictable and sometimes outrageous world of professional poker has done it again. According to PokerNews, it happened Sunday night at the Atlantis in the Bahamas, which is hosting the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament series.
The incident seems to have been the result of a prop/side bet Esfandiari made with businessman and amateur poker player Bill Perkins. The bet called for Esfandiari to literally lunge everywhere he went for 48 hours during the poker tournament. That included having to lunge from his room to the elevator, to the poker table and even to the bathroom. Esfandiari would not say exactly how much this unusual side bet was for, but he told reporters he was willing to do anything to avoid losing.
Apparently, it was for enough money that Esfandiari did not want to lunge while taking a bathroom break during his participation in the $5,300 buy-in Main Event on Day 2 of the tournament. So Esfandiari got a bottle, a towel and some people to stand around him while he relieved himself.
Tournament organizers weren't amused. European Poker Tour President Edgar Stuchly says Esfandiari was removed for, "a serious breach of tournament etiquette."
In an interview with PokerNews, Esfandiari apologized for his "childish" behavior.

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A man in Titusville, Florida apparently thought he was qualified to coach an NFL team, based on one of his hobbies. 
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hiring a new head coach, so Andrew Forgino applied, citing fantasy football as his experience. He pointed out he's very familiar with managing a successful lineup and watching the waiver wire. Not to mention he frequently plays Madden too. 
He also says his experience in the Marines also made him qualified -- carrying out plans of attack, being a devoted leader, etc. 
Unfortunately, he never got a call back from the Buccaneers. 

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West Yorkshire, UK - A woman will probably be thinking twice before she judges people in the future. 
While at a McDonald's, she bought breakfast for a man who she thought was homeless -- key word: thought. 
Claire Varin says the man was disheveled and eating ketchup from the dispenser, and since he had been sitting there for ten minutes, she assumed he was homeless and probably hungry. 
When she set the meal she bought in front of him, moments later an employee came up to him and gave him the meal he had ordered. Turns out, he was just a regular customer who apparently didn't feel the need to dress up for McDonald's. 
Varin says she was so embarrassed, she essentially ran out of the restaurant, and never plans to go there for breakfast again.

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - The mayor of a small Virginia city refused to pull over as law enforcement officers chased him over an expired inspection sticker on his car, the sheriff said, and he now faces charges.
Portsmouth Sheriff Bill Watson told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he noticed the car - with its sticker, expired in June - on Tuesday night. Watson says that at first he didn't realized it belonged to Mayor Kenny Wright, but he stopped to get a closer look and saw something in the car indicating it was Wright's.
Watson said he waited for Wright to arrive at the vehicle after a City Council meeting.
"Once he gets in the car and starts it up, now he's in violation," Watson said. "That's when I turned the lights on my car, and I stepped out and I said, 'Hold it right there, mayor.' He looked right at me and kept right on going. I thought, 'OK, this is the way it's going to be.' So I got in my car and took off after him."
Watson said he caught up with Wright a half-block away at a traffic circle and asked the mayor to roll down his window, but the light turned green and Wright took off again.
Watson said he summoned for assistance from Portsmouth police and Wright stopped eventually, was asked for his license and registration, and was cited for the expired sticker.
Watson said that on Wednesday, he also obtained a warrant for a felony eluding charge against Wright after researching state code.
Watson said Wright has to learn "that no one is above the law."
Messages left with Wright and Portsmouth Commonwealth's Attorney Stephan Morales weren't immediately returned.
A majority of the city's 96,000 residents are black, and so is Wright. Watson is white. Racial tensions in the city escalated at an October City Council meeting in a debate over city contracts. White residents reprimanded a black council member over his remarks to white speakers, and council members argued with one another.
And in September, a white police officer who shot and killed a black man in a Wal-Mart parking lot was indicted on first-degree murder and firearms charges. Police have said the officer, Stephen D. Rankin, was responding to a shoplifting complaint when a struggle ensued and 18-year-old William Chapman II was shot.
Rankin, who is no longer on the police force, is set for trial March 21.

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