Mad Minute stories from Thursday, March 31st - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, March 31st

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TIVERTON, R.I. (AP) -- A Rhode Island man who has 13 dead chickens hanging from trees outside his home is drawing complaints from a neighbor and a police inquiry.
The Newport Daily News reports that the Tiverton man told police Wednesday that he is simply drying the chickens out before properly disposing of them.
Chief Thomas Blakey says the man hasn't been charged with a crime, but police are continuing to investigate whether there are any potential health risks or if the homeowner is violating any town ordinances.
The man keeps live chickens. Town Administrator Matthew Wojcik says animal control workers inspected the property and found that those animals are healthy.
Tiverton officials became aware of the hanging dead chickens Monday after a neighbor called to complain.

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BROOKHAVEN, Ga. (AP) -- Police in suburban Atlanta found themselves counting sheep after a flock escaped an enclosure and blocked a road.
Brookhaven police said in a news release that about 20 grazing sheep and their security dogs were spotted along a road early Wednesday.
Police say they were able to contact the herder, who used a sheepdog to corral them back into their nearby enclosure.
Investigators say they're not planning to file charges for blocking the roadway or impeding traffic.

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ELKO, Nev. (AP) -- Despite winning more than $12.5 million at a casino, a Nevada miner plans to keep digging for gold.
Efren Aguirre tells the Elko Daily Free Press that he loves his job as rock breaker operator in a gold mine and doesn't intend to quit. The 64-year-old resident of Elko hit the jackpot on a slot machine last week.
Aguirre says he came to the U.S. from Mexico for "more money," but this wasn't what he expected.
He has worked at Newmont Mining Corp.'s Leeville mine for 16 years. He says he decided to go to the casino after a shift on March 22.
Aguirre says he and his wife of 44 years bought their dream house in Elko and will put away most of the remaining money for a rainy day.

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A federal judge agrees with the Florida Department of Agriculture that an all-natural creamery can't label its skim milk "skim milk" because it doesn't add vitamins to it.
So unless an appeals court disagrees, the Ocheesee Creamery will continue to dump perfectly good skim milk down the drain rather than comply with the state's demand that it sell it as "imitation skim milk."
Creamery owner Mary Lou Wesselhoeft said it upsets her that thousands of gallons of the product are discarded each year, but she won't lie to customers by calling it imitation.
"There's so many hungry people out there. You're always told not to waste food, not to throw stuff away, so it is very hard," she said. "We're punished for telling the truth, and that's what's sad."
Ocheesee was selling its skim milk for three years before the department said it had to be labeled imitation. The Institute for Justice sued on behalf of Wesselhoeft for the right to be able to sell the product as skim milk. Judge Robert Hinkle sided with the state on Wednesday, saying the government has the right to set standards for milk.
The dictionary definition of skim milk is simply milk with the cream removed. But the Department of Agriculture says under state and federal law, skim milk can't be sold as skim milk unless vitamins in the milk fat are replaced so it has the same nutritional value as whole milk.
"We are pleased with the judge's ruling, as this case has always been about ensuring that consumers are aware of the nutritional value of the products they purchase and feed to their families," said department spokeswoman Jennifer Meale.
But Wesselhoeft knows her customers don't want anything "imitation" and labeling her skim milk as such would confuse them and hurt the whole concept of her business.
"The customers knew exactly what they were buying," Wesselhoeft said. "What everybody said was it was the best skim milk they've ever had. 'We can't believe that it is skim milk because it just tastes so much better than the normal skim milk you buy in the store.' It wasn't watery."
The creamery needs to remove the milk fat to produce cream and butter, and skim milk is the result. Some people, especially those on low-cholesterol diets, prefer skim milk because it has little fat. While the creamery uses some of the skim milk to produce yogurt, most is thrown out.
The creamery, located about 50 miles west of the state capital, has offered to add to its label that it doesn't add vitamins to the product, but the state hasn't accepted the compromise. It was selling between 100 and 300 gallons of skim milk a week for $5 a gallon before the dispute. The product made up about 25 percent of its profits.
Institute for Justice lawyer Justin Pearson said the decision will be appealed.
"Her entire business is based on selling pure, all-natural items and that's exactly why her customers purchase dairy items from her. So the idea of being forced to label one of these all-natural diary items as imitation is absurd," he said. "It would be disastrous to her business."

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (AP) - A Massachusetts teacher charged with stealing almost $3,000 in proceeds from prom ticket sales has agreed to repay the money.
The Berkshire Eagle reports that Kate Frissell, a former teacher at Hoosac Valley Middle and High School in Cheshire, admitted to sufficient facts to a larceny charge in court on Wednesday. That means while not pleading guilty, she acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence to convict.
Under a plea deal, the Hinsdale woman must repay the school district $2,629 and was fined $90.
The investigation started in November after another teacher reported funds missing from the Class of 2016 prom ticket sales account while Frissell was serving in a student advisory role.
Prosecutors say the 34-year-old Frissell has been fired.

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PALM BAY, Fla. (AP) - A high school baseball coach has given his players unusual motivation: If they win two more games, they can name his baby.
Coach Rob Query of Heritage High in Palm Bay told Florida Today he promised his players that if they won 14 games, they could name the baby boy he and his wife Julia are expecting. The team is 12-6 with seven games left.
His players have a name picked out: Benjamin Smalls Query. The name comes from the team's favorite baseball movie, "The Sandlot." The fictional team's best player is Benjamin Rodriguez and the lead character, Scotty Smalls, is part of the movie's most famous line: "You're killing me, Smalls!"
Julia Query is being good-natured about the team's suggestion, saying, "I'll take it into consideration."

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A woman called 911 to complain that a Hartford, Connecticut, pizza shop made a mistake with her order and wouldn't return her money, so she wanted police officers to get it back for her.
The woman said she ordered a small half-cheese, half-bacon pizza from Empire Pizza on New Britain Avenue, but they gave her one that had hamburger on half of it.
The pizza shop said the incident happened a couple weeks ago and they would have been happy to replace the order, but the woman said she'd already eaten half of the pizza.
Here's how the call went down:
"If I order a pizza and they don't want to give me my money back, can you guys do something," the caller asked the 911 dispatcher.
The dispatcher calmly told her to take it up with the pizza shop.
"That's not something you would dial 911 for - 911 is for life-threatening emergencies only," the dispatcher said.
"OK, can you call the pizzeria or something?" the caller then asked.
At that point, the dispatcher asked the woman what happened.
"I ordered a small pizza - half cheese and half bacon - and they bring me half hamburger, so I call them back and they don't want to give my money back," she said, adding the pizza shop was hanging up on her.
"That's not a police matter, ma'am," the dispatcher said. "You'll have to work that out with the pizza shop."
The caller again asked the dispatcher to call the pizza shop.
"No, we cannot call the pizza shop," the dispatcher said.
The woman then asked the dispatcher why the pizza shop could call the police if she went over there and started arguing with them.
"If you go over there, you can call and have an officer meet you, but an officer's not just going to call them and ask them to give you your money back," the dispatcher explained.
The dispatcher then offered to have an officer meet her and urged her not to go into the pizza shop and say anything until she spoke with an officer.
NBC Connecticut reached out to the woman who called 911, but she did not want to comment.

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A trail of mystery meat has hit the road in New Hampshire.
Chicken, drumsticks, sausage, Angus steaks, pork chops and wild game meats were found alongside several roads in Epping last weekend, according to the Union Leader.
Police Capt. Jason Newman said an estimated 30 to 40 packages of meat were discarded on Red Oak Hill, Rocky Lane, Old Nottingham Road and Route 87, the paper reported.
The meat appeared to have been dropped out of a moving vehicle about every 200 feet. Much of it was partially frozen, and police said the label on one package left a clue that it came from a local store, according to the paper.
Residents notified authorities about the discoveries on Sunday.
No arrests have been made at this time, and the motive remains unknown. Anyone with information is asked to call: (603) 679-5122.

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It's not even April Fools' Day, but one man didn't need to the holiday. To prank his girlfriend -- now fiance. 
The two were visiting Louisville, Kentucky, when they suddenly ran into a group of men who asked them what was in their pockets. Naturally, the woman assumed they were about to be robbed, but instead, they broke out into an a capella song.
It was nothing less than a prank-turned-serenade. Sure enough, the seemingly frightening situation turned into a marriage proposal. Of course, she said yes. 
Wanna see it for yourself? Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1JBeVKtkvw&feature=youtu.be

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Ipswich, Australia - A koala got a police escort from a busy Australian highway over the weekend.
The native marsupial wandered across the Brisbane Valley Highway Saturday in a rural area west of Brisbane.
Footage posted to Facebook by a Queensland couple shows traffic stopped on the roadway while a policeman shepherds the animal to safety.
Other motorists looked on as the koala ambled and hopped casually along the highway, before eventually taking refuge in a tree.
Australian media reported that the police officer stayed close to the koala until it climbed the tree.
An Australian expert on koalas thanked the officer for his good deed, warning that it is dangerous to pick up koalas because they have sharp claws.

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