Mad Minute stories from Friday, April 1st - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Friday, April 1st

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- On April Fool's Day, the capital of Alaska was going by the name of card game UNO, not Juneau. No joke.
It was a play on words and part of a promotion with game and toy maker Mattel Inc., which is drawing attention to new wild cards in its UNO game by partnering with the mountainous city.
Juneau's website on Friday said "Welcome to UNO!" and featured a new logo. The city's Facebook page also promoted the change, and a banner flew outside a downtown municipal building.
Mattel made a $15,000 donation to the Juneau Community Foundation in honor of late Mayor Greg Fisk, who died last year shortly after taking office, company spokeswoman Candice Jacobson said.
The money will go toward programs for at-risk youth, foundation executive director Amy Skilbred said. Mattel also was providing hundreds of decks of cards to residents.
City Manager Kim Kiefer made clear that the name swap would be for one day only. She said the promotion is a way to draw attention to Juneau, a tourist destination known for the Mendenhall Glacier, whale watching and its outdoor lifestyle.
She called it a fun spoof.
"I just think it's a win for everybody," Kiefer said. "And I think it's important for us to sit back and laugh once in a while."
Michael Backus, 20, who works at a coffee shop, said the temporary name change was cool.
"I've never heard of anything like that," he said. "I like it."

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) -- Crews have safely detonated a Civil War-era land mine that prompted the evacuation of about 20 homes in Arkansas.
Matt Bell says he was doing excavation work when he dug up what he thought was a cannonball Wednesday near Danville, which is about 85 miles west of Little Rock.
Bell tells The Sentinel-Record that he put the 32-pound land mine in his pickup's backseat, buckled it in with a seatbelt, and drove 65 miles to his home in Hot Springs.
Bell says he realized it was a land mine after talking with a Civil War historian, so he called police Thursday afternoon. Hot Springs Police spokesman Kirk Zaner says authorities evacuated nearby homes and contacted an Air Force bomb squad, which later detonated the explosive at a local landfill.

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Mayke was born in Germany, expensively schooled and tediously trained to head off smugglers at the U.S.-Mexico border.
But on the way to Texas, the chocolate-colored border detection dog lost her nerve.
"The problem was, she was afraid of big trucks. She would just freeze right up," said Chris Bugbee, a carnivore biologist who claimed the 65-pound Belgian Malinois when border authorities rejected her in 2012.
Today, Mayke helps Bugbee track a different kind of border crosser: El Jefe, the only known jaguar living in the United States.
Bugbee studies the jaguar for Conservation CATalyst, a partner of the Center for Biological Diversity that focuses on conserving cats.
He and his canine companion spend their days tracking El Jefe in the quiet Santa Rita Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona.
Mayke discovered some of the first genetically verified jaguar droppings in the U.S., the biologist said.
"Chris has taught her when she finds jaguar poop to bark, and she barks and barks and barks and barks," said Bugbee's wife, Aletris Neils, a big cat biologist and Conservation CATalyst's executive director.
"Mayke would never work for anybody else the way she does for Chris," she said. "That relationship is really special."
Mayke also sniffed out several of El Jefe's resting places. Jaguars are great wanderers, and Bugbee figures El Jefe - Spanish for "the boss" - has at least 100 sleeping places in the mountains.
El Jefe, thought to be about 7, crisscrosses most of the 300-square-mile Santa Rita Mountains and beyond, Bugbee said. Scientists believe the jaguar came from a population in Mexico and then struck out on his own. The big cat is seen roaming the territory in a February video released by the Center for Biological Diversity, thanks to cameras set up by Bugbee with Mayke by his side.
Besides jaguar hiding spots, Mayke has discovered something else in her four years with the biologist: her confidence.
Bugbee said Mayke has gone from avoiding every "little hill" to bounding from boulder to steep boulder as she aids in his quest.
"She will do absolutely anything for him," Neils said. "She has become a 4-wheel drive dog - she lives to work and trusts him completely."

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HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- A police officer in Southern California has jumped to help an 11-year-old homeless girl.
The Orange County Register reports officers found the girl and her mother living in a car in parking lot in Huntington Beach on Wednesday. Officer Zach Pricer turned to hopscotch to make the child feel more at ease.
While Officer Scott Marsh reached out to the department's homeless task force to arrange housing for the pair, video shows Pricer hopping up and back.
The 38-year-old officer explained the rules of the game to the girl, then reached down to grab the marker, causing her to giggle.
Pricer says a police officer can seem scary to a child and he wanted to make the girl feel more comfortable.

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BROOKSIDE, Ala. (AP) -- A suspect found a creative place to hide during an Alabama drug raid, but investigators say it was the snoring that did him in.
Brookside police said in a news release that about one hour and 45 minutes in to searching a house, investigators heard a snoring sound coming from the clothes dryer and found Michael Christopher Davis curled up inside the appliance.
The 33-year-old suspect told police they had spent so much time searching the home Wednesday afternoon that he fell asleep.
Brookside police Chief Jason Springfield says Davis' arrest came after multiple people inside and outside the home attempted to run away from authorities who had arrived to search the house.
It's unclear what charges Davis is facing.

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CROSWELL, Mich. (AP) -- Students all over the U.S. dissect animals as a kind of high school rite of passage.
Not many, though, stuff and mount the critters afterward.
A Michigan high school is teaching students to do just that.
Croswell-Lexington High offered a taxidermy course for the first time this school year. So far, it's been a hit.
Sixty students enrolled in the first two sections, and about a dozen had to be turned away, said Ryan Cayce, the principal at the school about 80 miles north of Detroit in a community near Lake Huron that long has embraced hunting and fishing.
Teacher Kyle Tubbs, who owns a taxidermy business, last year pitched the idea of a stand-alone class to Cayce, who gave it the green light.
Senior Matt Barker, a trapper and hunter, said the course is perfect for him.
"This is one of the best classes that I've had, because it's a very hands-on class," Barker said, taking a break from fleshing an opossum he trapped in his grandfather's backyard.
Students in the 13-week class must bring in an animal that they hunted, trapped or found dead. Road kill counts.
In Mieyah Brenton's case, the red-bellied woodpecker the senior worked on was a gift from the family cat.
"I just want this eye to be where it's supposed to," an exasperated Brenton said to her lab mates before jamming a blade into the bird's eye.
Brenton said many people think the class is gross, but "it's just kind of something that's cool to learn, especially if you like biology."
The class meets state standards for science instruction, Tubbs said.
Many students in the taxidermy class already have taken biology, Cayce said.
"It fits in and integrates well with the other physical science courses," he said.
And art, said Tubbs, who points out that students who mount a full-bodied animal are asked to create its natural habitat, which could include representations of water, dirt and plants.
"Trying to make something dead look like something that's living again takes ... skill," said Claire Knapp, a junior who was drawn to learning about taxidermy after taking an anatomy course.
For the students who didn't make it into the inaugural offering, there's always next school year.
"I never thought that it would be this popular and (have) this much interest," Tubbs said. "It's just really cool for me, doing taxidermy and as a teacher, to see the interest that we have with this class."

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SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida election official is working to help confused voters after one person reported that a registration flier had been sent home for her dead cat.
Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Michael Ertel said Thursday that he has set up a website to vet election mailings. He says he was motivated by the cat incident, in which a voter told him a Washington-based advocacy group had sent the mailing.
Ertel says the website will educate voters about which fliers are legitimate and which aren't.
The elections supervisor says some of the out-of-state fliers from interest groups can confuse voters.

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HONOLULU (AP) - A Japan-bound airplane returned to Hawaii because of a violent passenger who wanted to do yoga instead of sit in his seat, the FBI said.
The pilot of the March 26 United Airlines flight from Honolulu International Airport to Narita International Airport turned the plane around after hearing that Hyongtae Pae was yelling at crew members and shoving his wife, the FBI said in a criminal complaint.
Pae told the FBI he didn't want to sit in his seat during the meal service, so he went to the back of the plane to do yoga and meditate. He became angry when his wife and flight attendants told him to return to his seat. "Pae pushed his wife because she was trying to make him stop," the complaint said. "He felt that she was siding with the flight crew."
He tried to head-butt and bite Marines who were passengers on the flight and tried to force him back to his seat, Assistant U.S. Attorney Darren Ching said at Pae's detention hearing Wednesday.
According to the complaint, he threatened to kill passengers and was yelling that there is no god.
Pae went into a rage because he felt the flight crew was ordering him around, Ching said.
Ching said Pae shouldn't be released because he's a danger to his wife, himself and others. Pae urinated on himself and was on suicide watch at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center, Ching said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang ordered that Pae be released on $25,000 bond, but with certain conditions including not leaving the island of Oahu and undergoing a mental health evaluation.
Since the arrest, Pae's wife has been staying at the Waikiki Gateway Hotel, defense attorney Jin Tae "J.T." Kim told the judge, who asked whether Pae had financial resources to continue staying there after his release. Kim said he's working with the consulate to transfer more money to Pae's wife and find alternate, temporary housing.
Chang denied Kim's request to allow Pae to return home to Korea, because that would involve getting on a plane again.
Outside of court, Kim said his client is a 72-year-old retired farmer who traveled from South Korea to celebrate his 40th wedding anniversary with a Hawaii vacation. It was the couple's first trip to Hawaii.
Pae only recently took up yoga to help with anxiety, Kim said, adding that he was sleep-deprived during the vacation. Pae told the FBI he hadn't been able to sleep in 11 days.

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ROCKLEDGE, Fla. (AP) - Police in Florida say a woman angered over her husband having an affair shot him in the knee, with the bullet lodging further up his body.
Florida Today reports that 60-year-old Victoria Reid was arrested earlier this week on charges including aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and domestic violence.
According to a report by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Reid confronted her husband about the affair and threatened to maim and kill him.
Police say Reid then shot her husband, who wasn't identified, in the knee, but the bullet ended up lodging in his testicles.
The newspaper did not know the man's current condition.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Several billboards scattered around Los Angeles look at first glance like ads for Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, but they actually ask, "Feel the Burn?"
The ad campaign is the work of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is urging anyone who might feel painful symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases to get free screenings.
The billboards use the same style as Sanders' campaign, which has adopted the slogan "Feel the Bern" - itself a play on the fitness workout catchphrase.
Both the senator and the foundation use white letters underlined by red and white swooshes against a blue background.
AIDS Healthcare spokesman Jason Farmer says in a press release that Sanders is getting through to young people and the organization hopes its message does, too.
 

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