Mad Minute stories from Thursday, March 17th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, March 17th

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- For cats, hell is high water.
And that hell became reality for two California felines on Tuesday, when high flood waters left them stranded in trees half-submerged in the Sacramento River.
The Front Street Animal Shelter created a ramp that would lead the cats to safety, but they refused to cross.
The animals were eventually saved when the Sacramento Fire Department organized a water rescue, using a small boat and ladder.
Both cats are safe and uninjured.

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BERWICK, Pa. (AP) -- State police say a 78-year-old nun was caught shoplifting $23 worth of coffee, snacks and toiletries from a central Pennsylvania store. Troopers say Sister Agnes Pennino was seen taking the items from the Surplus Outlet near Berwick on Monday afternoon. WNEP-TV reports police determined the woman captured on surveillance video was the nun who lived about 20 miles away at a convent in Danville.
The station says Saints Cyril and Methodius Convent officials declined to comment. Nobody answered the phone at the convent Thursday morning.
Shoplifting is a summary offense, akin to a traffic ticket, meaning the nun will likely pay a fine if she's convicted.
Store manager Zane Kishbach says he "couldn't believe it that a nun would actually do something like that." 

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PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Pittsburgh police say a man upset that his pizza delivery was late went to the restaurant, broke things and threw objects at the employees.
Fifty-nine-year-old Neil Orr has been charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats and other charges in Wednesday night's melee at Italian Village Pizza.
Police say Orr was told his pizza would be delivered in 30 to 45 minutes and he called to complain when he still didn't have a pizza after an hour.
Police say Orr then went to the shop, threw several unspecified objects at employees and broke some glass. He was hit in the head by something and started bleeding.
Orr faces a preliminary hearing March 29 and doesn't have an attorney or a listed phone number.

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(CNN) - They've been lost and found on the beach, in the ocean and even down a baby's throat.
But when a Missouri woman realized her wedding ring -- her $400,000 wedding ring -- was missing, the odds of finding it seemed awfully long.
"I just probably tossed it right in the trash," Carla Squitieri told CNN affiliate KMOV in St. Louis.
It gets worse.
"I said 'the trash man's gone already,' " Squitieri's husband, Bernie, said he told her. "He left five hours ago."
Hoping against hope, the couple called their trash hauler, who told them the truck was on the way to a landfill located near where nuclear waste is stored. They wouldn't be able to go there, the trash company said.
So the couple persuaded the company, Meridian Waste Solutions, to divert the truck to another landfill, where operations manager Joe Evans met them for the smelly and seemingly impossible search for the 12.5-carat ring.
After all, the truck was carrying eight tons of stinking, rotting garbage from 900 homes, CNN affiliate KTVI reported.
"My first thought was 'we're never going to find it,' " Evans told KMOV. "It was like finding a needle in a haystack, basically."
But find it he did. Only a half-hour into the search, Evans found the ring in a bag of the couple's garbage.
"I was like, 'Yeah, I found it!' " Evans told KMOV. "And I took it right over to her, and I opened it up, and both pieces were just laying there. They were so grateful; who wouldn't be, right?"
Carla Squitieri said that finding the ring was a bit like winning the lottery.
"That was my Powerball," she said.

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EUCLID, Ohio (AP) -- Police say they have finally cracked the case of who egged a Cleveland-area home more than 100 times over a year.
A former neighbor, 30-year-old Jason Kozan, has been charged with feloniously vandalizing the Euclid home starting in May 2014 and ending in June 2015, according to court records.
Albert Clemens Sr. has said the attacks damaged his home and kept his family on edge.
The lengthy investigation included undercover stakeouts, neighborhood canvassing and testing of eggshells at a crime lab. A surveillance camera was also installed on Clemens' home.
Clemens has said his home was egged several times a week. He told cleveland.com in March 2015 that whoever was responsible demonstrated "phenomenal" accuracy, launching five or six at a time and often hitting the front door of the green, two-story home that he and his late wife bought nearly six decades ago. The after-dark attacks sometimes sounded like gunshots as eggs splattered on the aluminum siding, creating a residue that strips the paint, he said.
"I would live and die in this house - but it's been kind of a nightmare," Clemens said last year.
He used to clean up each time but stopped because it was happening so often. Clemens said his insurer wouldn't settle a claim until police caught the vandal, so Clemens said he would wait until then to make repairs.
Detectives haven't identified a motive for the eggings, Lt. Mike Knack said Wednesday.
The eggings largely stopped once Kozan moved away.
"Somebody is deeply, deeply angry at somebody in that household for some reason," Lt. Mitch Houser said earlier.
Kozan had no attorney on record with Euclid Municipal Court. His bond was set Tuesday at $2,000.
A Cuyahoga County grand jury will review Kozan's case for a possible indictment, police said. 

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - A court has upheld the prison sentence of a former Romanian lawmaker known as "the chicken baron" who was convicted of bribing voters with 60 tons of packaged, ready-to-fry meat.
The top court of appeal rejected the appeal of Florin Popescu, who went on trial in 2014, a court official said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
Popescu bought 60 tons of chicken for 485,000 lei ($120,000) for his campaign for another term as local council chairman in June 2012 elections. He protested he had not even eaten "a chicken wing."
Popescu later won a Parliament seat, but resigned on March 2.

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An Ohio man learned firsthand just how closely "big brother" may be watching when the Secret Service paid him a personal visit this week after a fiery comment he made on social media.
Gary Barry was on his Facebook account March 7 when he saw a post from someone he was following on the presidential candidates that read "Hillary and Bernie…Sunday at OSU."
"I jokingly said, 'where do I send the bomb?'" Barry told NBC 5's Columbus affiliate WCMH.
As it goes with politics, the comment sparked a heated debate among local Facebook users who were preparing to welcome the candidates for the CNN Debate in Columbus that Sunday.
At first Barry thought nothing of it, according to WCMH. That was until his son called him to tell him two armed men were at their front door.
"I thought he was kidding," Barry told WCMH. 
"But he wasn't and they actually waited for me to get home."
When Barry arrived home, he told WCMH the agents sat him down with his wife. Barry says he was then questioned about "everything" in his life including his family and father, who was a firefighter. Barry told WCMH he was also asked if he was suicidal, if he was racist, or if he had ever thought about assassinating the president.
After about 30 minutes of intense probing, Barry says the agents went on their way.
A local Secret Service agent confirmed the investigation and questioning to WCMH, saying it was standard procedure for social media threats made on the presidential candidates.
Barry told WCMH the men gave one piece of advice being saying goodbye: "They said, 'watch what you say on Facebook," he said.
"I even spread that message as soon as they left," he said in an interview with WCMH.
And he did. A Facebook post on his account showed another post on his timeline soon after.
"Just a friendly reminder," it read. "Don't post negative political comments on FB or you might get a visit from the secret service like I did today."
The chargeable offense carries a penalty up to five years in federal prison.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A historical landmark advisory board received an offer it could refuse, saying Thursday it won't support a proposal asking that the home of a former mob boss receive landmark status.
Angelo Bruno, who was known as the "Gentle Don" when he ran the city's Italian mob in the 1960s and 1970s, was gunned down outside the house in 1980.
The main argument for declaring it a city landmark was that federal investigations into his affairs shaped the way organized crime was tracked and prosecuted.
But the advisory board said that argument was weak and didn't have a direct tie-in to Philadelphia.
The committee's recommendation now goes to the city's Historical Commission, which will have the final say.
Preservationist Celeste Morello, who nominated Bruno's South Philadelphia row home for the designation, told the committee that Bruno was also a significant historic figure. Bruno's FBI file is part of the John F. Kennedy assassination record, she said, and includes transcripts of conversations in which Bruno says he wanted the president killed.
"That's big. That is very significant," Morello said. "I don't know of anyone else in Philadelphia who has had their FBI file become a part of such a critical moment in 20th century history or United States history."
When Morello finished speaking, Jean Bruno, the late mob boss's 74-year-old daughter who still lives in the family home, spoke from her seat in the audience. She said she'd overheard her father argue against Kennedy's assassination.
Jean Bruno, who has been trying to sell her family home for two years, said she would consider it an honor if the property was designated as historic. During the meeting, she wondered aloud if a historic designation would help with bills.
"Do I get any tax breaks? I just thought about it," she asked.
After the committee voted 4-0 to not recommend the home for historic designation, Morello asked if she should resubmit the application with stronger arguments or a different angle.
Committee member Jeffrey Cohen, a Bryn Mawr College professor of architectural history, said that decision was up to her, but noted, "I don't think you see a lot of encouragement here."

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- A felon offered a musical apology, apparently inspired by singer Adele's "Hello," before being sentenced to up to 17 years in prison in Michigan for unlawful imprisonment and carrying a concealed weapon.
The Ann Arbor News reports 21-year-old Brian Earl Taylor on March 10 sang the refrain to Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Darlene O'Brien that sounded like it was based on the hit song. It was recorded on courtroom video.
"Hello there, your honor," Taylor sang. He continued: "I want to say I'm sorry for the things I've done and I'll try and be stronger in this life I chose, but I want you to know - that door, I closed. And your honor I'm sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry."
O'Brien said Taylor was "obviously a talented young man."

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- Denmark, perhaps better known for its fictional, suicide-agonizing prince Hamlet and fierce marauding Vikings than being a nation of the happiest people, has just won that very accolade. Again.
Even U.S. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have singled out the small Scandinavian country as an example of a happy, well-oiled society. On Wednesday, the United Nations made it official: It found Danes to be the happiest people on Earth in a study of 156 countries.
Knud Christensen, a 39-year-old social worker, knows one reason why his compatriots are laid-back - they feel secure in a country with few natural disasters, little corruption and a near absence of drastic events.
"We have no worries," Christensen said, smiling as he stood on a Copenhagen street near the capital's City Hall. "And if we do worry, it's about the weather. Will it rain today, or remain gray, or will it be cold?"
The Scandinavian nation of 5.6 million has held the happy title twice before since the world body started measuring happiness around the world in 2012. The accolade is based on a variety of factors: People's health and access to medical care, family relations, job security and social factors, including political freedom and degree of government corruption.
Egalitarian Denmark, where women hold 43 percent of the top jobs in the public sector, is known for its extensive and generous cradle-to-grave welfare.
Few complain about the high taxes as in return they benefit from a health care system where everybody has free access to a general practitioner and hospitals. Taxes also pay for schools and universities, and students are given monthly grants for up to seven years.
Many feel confident that if they lose their jobs or fall ill, the state will support them.
Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia University, one of those behind the report, says that happiness and well-being should be on every nation's agenda.
"Human well-being should be nurtured through a holistic approach that combines economic, social and environmental objectives," he said in a statement before the World Happiness Report 2016 was to be officially presented in Rome on Wednesday.
The Roman Catholic Church welcomed the study, declaring that happiness is "linked to the common good, which makes it central to Catholic social teaching," according to Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, one of Pope Francis' key advisers.
Kaare Christensen, a university professor in demography and epidemiology in Odense, where fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen was born, says it doesn't take much to satisfy Danes.
"They are happy with what they get. Danes have no great expectations about what they do or what happens to them," she said
Christian Bjoernskov, an economy professor at the University of Aarhus, Denmark's second- largest city, believes feelings of self-assurance and self-determination have a lot to do with it.
"Danes feel confident in one another... when we stand together, we can succeed," he says. "And they also have a strong belief they can decide their own lives."
After Denmark, the next happiest nations last year were Switzerland, Iceland and Norway, followed by Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden.
The United States was 13th place, two spots higher than the previous year.
 

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