Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, March 23rd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, March 23rd

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles police say diners scattered when a man dropped a 13-foot python on the floor of a sushi restaurant.
Officer Drake Madison says the man had argued with an employee and stormed out of Iroha Sushi of Tokyo in Studio City on Sunday evening. Madison says a short time later, the man returned with the giant snake, threw it into the dining room and walked out again.
Police responded, and the man was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats. Nobody was hurt.
The python was taken by animal control officers.
Madison says it wasn't immediately clear where the man got the snake but that he likely was the owner.
The man has not been identified.

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BOSTON (AP) - An 80-year-old man who ran a sprawling marijuana-dealing operation has been sentenced in Boston to 10 years in prison.
Marshall Dion pleaded guilty last year to drug and money-laundering charges.
Prosecutors say Dion ran a large marijuana enterprise for decades.
When police in Junction City, Kansas, stopped him for speeding in 2013, they found about $828,000 in cash in his pickup. A federal investigation led authorities to Massachusetts and Arizona, where they found about $15 million in cash, nearly 400 pounds of marijuana and ledgers detailing drug deals going back to 1992.
A federal judge this month rejected a plea agreement that called for a five- to seven-year prison sentence for Dion.
The judge sentenced him Tuesday to 10 years in prison during a hearing in U.S. District Court.

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Bird-watchers are flocking to a small town in Vermont hoping to catch a glimpse of the painted bunting, a rare bird described as a "flying rainbow" that normally doesn't fly north of the Carolinas on the East Coast.
It's the sixth time since 1993 a painted bunting has been recorded in Vermont, said Kent McFarland, a conservation biologist with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, who photographed the colorful bird on Friday.
"It's a flying rainbow. It's a really bright bird," he said of the tennis ball-sized bird that has appeared in a yard and at a feeder in Pittsfield.
McFarland said the painted bunting really sticks out in Vermont's early spring brown landscape.
"It's a beautiful, beautiful bird. It's like tropical when you look at it," he said Wednesday.
The last time the male painted bunting was spotted in Pittsfield was on Sunday.
The species breeds in the south-central and coastal southeastern parts of the country. It's known for shooting northward at odd times but it's hard to say why, McFarland said.
One was spotted in western Maine during a Christmas bird count and another in Brooklyn, New York, in November.
In most falls and winters, there are usually one or two painted buntings that show up somewhere in New England but they tend to be females, which are bright green rather than technicolored like the males, said Geoff LeBaron, director of the Christmas Bird Count for the National Audubon Society.
"In any given species that migrates, there's a certain proportion of the population that's going to go 180 degrees in the wrong direction," he said.
Painted buntings are more noticeable than some of the other birds out of range because of their plumage and visits to feeders because they're seed eaters, he said. It seems "very unlikely" that the bird in Vermont was a pet that was released from captivity, he said.

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PRAGUE (AP) -- At first, their elephant dung was sold to gardeners as fertilizer. Now Prague Zoo has come up with a new use for it: making paper.
The zoo has joined forces with the country's famed hand paper mill in Velke Losiny to process the manure to be used in traditional paper-making techniques.
Petr Foucek, a director from Velke Losiny, says the 420-year-old mill has made paper from all sorts of materials but elephant dung "is something new for us."
Visitors will be able to make their own paper at a new zoo facility starting Friday. The announcement comes almost five years after the zoo began selling elephant dung in 1-kilogram (2.2-pound) containers.
The brains behind the project is zoo director Miroslav Bobek, whose surname literally means "dung" in Czech.

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HAZLETON, Pa. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania mayor took it upon himself to spruce up his office before he was sworn in.
The Standard-Speaker says Hazleton Mayor Jeff Cusat used his own money and elbow grease to paint his office earlier this year. He also bought a carpet-cleaning machine.
Now, he's using money from a nonprofit fund he created to spruce up the paint in the hallways at City Hall.
Once that's finished, the mayor is hoping the Greater Hazelton Historical Society and the Hazleton Art League will help create displays to spruce up the hallways.
Hazleton is about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

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ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) -- Police in North Carolina are cracking down on speeders with a simple message: Obey the posted speed limit or pay a fine, even if you're only going a bit over.
The N.C. Governor's Highway Safety Program says in a news release it will announce its "Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine" campaign on Thursday. Both state and local law enforcement are participating.
The agency says many people believe they won't get a ticket so long as they don't travel too far beyond the speed limit. But the agency says the aim is to remind people that it's against the law to drive faster than what is posted.

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MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) -- It wasn't a happy hour for some central Florida drivers when trucks carrying Busch beer and Frito Lay chips collided, spilling them both along Interstate 95.
The crash happened early Wednesday morning near Melbourne.
Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Kim Montes said in statement that Zachary Basinger of Melbourne had stopped his Frito Lay box truck onto the right shoulder.
Roberto Ferrer Rodriguez of Miami told troopers he was trying to move his beer truck into the center lane but saw another vehicle and swerved back into the right lane. His truck struck the chips truck.
The Frito Lay truck overturned. The beer and chips spilled onto the highway. Traffic backed up as troopers closed the road while clearing the debris.
Rodriguez was ticketed for failing to maintain a single lane.

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ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - Police say a spaceship - or at least a fiberglass and metal version of one - is missing in Roswell, the New Mexico town that still stirs debate about extraterrestrials seven decades after the 1947 crash of a flying object.
Police say the model flying saucer was stolen from the UFO Museum in Roswell early Saturday and remained missing Tuesday.
Some on social media suggested in jest that "men in black" or "aliens" were to blame. But police say surveillance video shows three thieves hauled away the spaceship in a pickup truck.
The spaceship is a fixture in downtown Roswell, where it was long mounted outside the UFO museum before a recent snowstorm damaged it. Police say the suspects stole it from behind the museum, where it was being stored.

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ALLENTOWN, PA (WCMH)- A veterinarian in Pennsylvania is creating some smiles over social media after he created fish braces.
A pet is a pet. Whether it's a dog, a cat or a goldfish, people usually want what's best for their animals and in this case, what was best was braces for Mr. Hot Wing.
Mr. Hot Wing is a standard goldfish, but he had trouble breathing and had an inability to eat. According to the Lehigh Valley Veterinary Dermatology, Mr. Hot Wing was born without a lower jaw bone and his mouth could not stay open.
Veterinarian Brian Palmeiro did surgery on the fish to and created a brace to help his mouth stay open.
There is no word on whether Mr. Hot Wing will need a retainer following his venture with braces.

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PALM COAST, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say a Georgia man dressed up like a Target employee stole 41 cellphones from a central Florida store.
The Flagler County Sheriff's Office issued a warrant Tuesday for 26-year-old Jarmal Brown on charges of grand theft and burglary.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports Brown entered a Target store Monday morning dressed like a new cellphone sales team member and asked to be let into an equipment room.
Sheriff's spokesman Jim Troiano says Brown took the cellphones valued at $31,000 from a secured cabinet and left the store.
He was driving a white 2010 Nissan Altima with a Georgia license plate.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office.

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