Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, March 29th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, March 29th

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ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) -- Police are trying to figure out who owns some jewelry found inside a new purse a woman purchased from a central Pennsylvania department store.
Logan Township police Chief Tim Mercer says much of the jewelry was high quality and obviously "used" so police believe a woman may have purchased the handbag, began to stock it with belongings, then forgot about the jewels when she returned it.
Whatever happened, the jewels were in the purse when another woman purchased it from the Boscov's store in Logan Town Center on March 12. The mall is near Altoona, about 85 miles east of Pittsburgh.
Police say the woman who bought the purse discovered the jewels and turned them into police on Sunday.
The jewelry includes rings, necklaces, bracelets and watches.

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants one of America's most prestigious universities to move its campus south to the Sunshine State.
Scott on Tuesday urged Yale University to ditch Connecticut and relocate its campus. The Republican explained that Connecticut legislators are considering a bill that would tax Yale's massive university endowment.
Scott said in a statement that Florida would "welcome a world-renowned university" and promised that the state wouldn't impose taxes on the endowment.
He also urged other businesses in Connecticut to consider moving to Florida.
But the Ivy League institution isn't planning to take up Scott's invitation.
Yale spokesman Tom Conroy says that while it's "wonderful to be recognized as an outstanding asset," it has been mutually beneficial for Yale to be located in Connecticut for 300 years.

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ORANGE, Conn. (AP) -- Police in a Connecticut town say they'd want to be present at future Easter egg hunts at candy company Pez's visitor center after a hunt over the weekend turned into a mess.
Police Assistant Chief Anthony Cuozzo told the New Haven Register on Monday organizers of the event in Orange should've notified police once they saw how large the crowds were.
Saturday's event at the Pez visitor center drew hundreds of people, some of whom ignored the event's starting time.
Pez general manager Shawn Peterson says people rushed the fields where the eggs were hidden and "took everything." He compares the crowd to locusts.
PEZ Candy Inc. officials have apologized, saying the event turned into "a mess."
The hunt ended early. No injuries were reported.

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MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Two Indiana bakeries share a love for four-sided doughnuts but one of them believes there is room for only one square doughnut-maker.
According to the Post-Tribune, Valparaiso-based Family Express asked a court Thursday to declare that it can continue to call its products "Square Donuts."
But Terre Haute-based Square Donuts, which has been making its doughnuts since the 1960s and has nine locations, wants Family Express to cut it out.
Family Express started making its version in 2005, and a year later, Square Donuts sent Family Express a cease-and-desist letter.
The low-level disagreement fermented quietly for several years until Square Donuts in 2013 trademarked its name.
Family Express contacted Square Donuts to try to reach an agreement over the name but those talks went nowhere.

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(CNN) - New research has revealed the 'Siberian unicorn' roamed the planet far more recently than we originally thought.
The bad news is it looked nothing like the mythical creatures portrayed in so many fairy tales.
It was fatter and furrier, and in reality more rhino than stallion. It did, however, have a huge horn.
This real unicorn, or 'Elasmotherium sibiricu', was originally thought to have gone extinct 350,000 years ago.
But a well-preserved fossilized skull found in Kazakhstan reveals the shaggy creature was still alive and walking this earth a mere 29,000 years ago, according to a study published in the American Journal of Applied Sciences.
There is now some mystery surrounding how it survived so long.
The team are hoping the find will help them understand what environmental factors played a part in the eventual extinction of the species, and what role migration played in its survival up until that point.
Something they think might come in useful considering our current climate change situation.

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ASHLAND, Pa. (AP) -- Police say a woman killed two roosters who kept coal miners company in central Pennsylvania because their crowing woke her up.
Ashland police have charged 21-year-old Jenna Caso with shooting the birds, which had been donated to the Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine. The birds were donated after another rooster called "Big Red" and a hen named "Anne-thracite" died of natural causes.
Tony Loftus works at the mine and tells WNEP-TV the birds followed him around, kept the workers company and crowed when the sun came up.
But police say Caso didn't like being awakened by the roosters and shot them on March 17.
Online court records don't list an attorney for Caso, who faces a preliminary hearing May 4.
The mine is about 50 miles northeast of Harrisburg.

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Facebook can be handy when it comes to keeping in touch with old and new friends, but it's also particularly helpful when it comes to solving crimes. 
In Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, police clearly know that fact. They were able to catch a robber, after he unfriended the man he robbed on Facebook. 
Officers say 20-year-old Ryley Smith stole about $750 when he threatened a Subway restaurant employee -- who happened to be his "friend" -- with a knife. 
Police say Smith had been wearing a mask at the time, so it could have been very difficult to catch him. Lucky, the employee became suspicious when Smith deleted him as a friend online. 
Shortly after, police tested Smith's DNA, and found it was a match to the bandana that had been left outside the restaurant. 

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DALLAS (AP) - The joke has shown up on some police department Facebook pages: Anyone in possession of methamphetamine or other illegal drugs should stop by the police station for testing because the drugs might somehow contain Ebola.
In Granite Shoals, Texas, one such post, labeled a "Breaking News Alert" in block letters, was shared thousands of times. It even netted an arrest, which the local police department then reported on its Facebook page.
Police say threats about "Ebola meth" are a fun, harmless sting they set up to catch criminals in the act, even if the joke alludes to what was once an actual global public health crisis. But two good-government advocates said the posts run the risk of degrading trust in law enforcement and public health authorities.
And in the case of Granite Shoals, the local district attorney questioned whether the post might alarm people who don't use drugs, but might think a deadly virus is present in their community.
"I think there's some collateral issues that you have to consider before you use a sting," said Sonny McAfee, the district attorney for Burnet County, Texas, which is northwest of Austin.
Mitch Bratton, the chief of the Grayson, Louisiana, police department, which posted a similar item on Facebook, said several people did call to find out whether any drugs were contaminated by Ebola.
"It opened the door for us to talk about the dangers of meth," Bratton said in an interview Monday, adding that in his town, "meth is most definitely a lot bigger problem than any chance of Ebola."
Some version of the threat of "Ebola meth" has shown up in at least four other states, according to the website Snopes, which tracks and debunks Internet hoaxes.
Ebola last caused global panic when an outbreak in West Africa that began two years ago killed more than 10,000 people, according to the World Health Organization. One person who fell sick in the United States died: a Liberian man who ended up in the hospital days after arriving in Dallas. Two nurses who treated him became infected but survived.
Disease experts say Ebola is spread through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person.
Matt Simpson, senior policy strategist at the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, questioned what a department like Granite Shoals would do in the event of a real contaminated drug crisis.
"Are they going to run another Facebook ad that looks like this, only it's designed to help people instead of ensnare people foolish enough to follow up?" Simpson said.
But the police in Granite Shoals urged people not to take their joke too seriously.
"We at the GSPD like to show all parts of the enforcement world on Facebook and that includes our sense of humor," the department said in one post.

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LA VISTA, Neb. (WOWT) -- We always like stories of heroic rescues and one La Vista Police Officer shared such a "tail" on Twitter.
Officer TJ Markowsky of the La Vista Police Department tweeted Wednesday night around 11:30 pm that a fellow officer came across a cat stuck in a tree in Central Park. Officer Markowsky propped a shield against the tree while another officer used the red dot sight from a taser to lure the cat onto the makeshift "bridge."
After getting the animal out of the tree, Officer Markowsky tweeted several additional pictures of that cat, saying the "cat is in custody. Humane Society on the way. Charges pending for scratching me." The cat was taken to the Nebraska Humane Society where it awaits its owner.
The other officer has some extra paperwork to do for using his taser on the job.

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NEWPORT, Pa. (AP) -- Some tiny gnome homes that were evicted from a Pennsylvania park are making magic elsewhere.
Little Buffalo State Park managers gave permission for Steve Hoke to create the mini houses in December but then decided they could affect wildlife habitat.
Hoke had made about 40 gnome houses in tree roots, in hollow logs and on stumps around the forest near Newport. He says children loved the houses but he removed them last month.
Millerstown and Duncannon offered to keep the gnome homes in local parks.
News site Pennlive.com reported Monday that 11 gnome homes have been moved to Millerstown Community Park and three are in Noye Park in Duncannon.
Hoke says the reaction to the gnome homes has been positive and "people are thrilled to have them there."
 

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