Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, April 5, 2016

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A Los Angeles man has been charged with child abuse for allegedly leaving his baby in the car while he went to a San Fernando Valley strip club.
Twenty-four-year-old Auwin Dargin pleaded not guilty to the charge on Monday. He could face up to six years in prison if convicted.
Authorities say Dargin left his 9-month-old daughter in the car for an hour last month during an afternoon visit to the club.
Authorities say the baby was found by employees of the club and a neighboring business.

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COLESVILLE, N.Y. (AP) -- Authorities say an Uber passenger who took the wheel while the driver slept later crashed the car while trying to elude police.
State police say 20-year-old New York City resident Juan Carlos hired the car in Philadelphia to take him 200 miles to central New York.
Police say the driver asked Carlos to take the wheel Saturday while he napped, and a trooper later clocked Carlos going 86 mph in a 65 mph zone on Interstate 81 near Binghamton.
When the real driver woke up and asked Carlos why he was driving so fast, Carlos told him it was because police were chasing them.
Carlos soon crashed. Both suffered minor injuries.
Carlos was charged with fleeing police and driving without a license. It wasn't clear if he has a lawyer.

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SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) - It has taken a month and nearly $350,000 to remove the rats from the Snohomish High School cafeteria. Snohomish school officials say the building is expected to reopen next week after being closed since early March.
The Daily Herald reports the rats were discovered after a food-service worker reported a strange odor coming from the kitchen.
A pet control company was called and rat droppings were found in the ceiling. Since then, school lunches have been prepared off site and brought to campus, where students have been eating in the gym.
After pest control crews finished their work, he ceiling tiles and insulation has been replaced and openings in the walls throughout the building have been sealed.

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PARLIER, Calif. (AP) -- It started with a few kittens. But nearly a quarter century later, a California woman has transformed her 4,000-square-foot home into what's believed to be the largest no-cage cat sanctuary and adoption center in the U.S.
An estimated 24,000 cats have been saved by the sanctuary, which houses up to 1,000 felines at any given time. Lynea Lattanzio set up Cat House on the Kings after finding out that many nearby shelters euthanize cats who aren't adopted.
As more feral and abandoned cats took up residence in her home, she moved out into a trailer on her 12-acre property.
Lattanzio spent her entire retirement fund on her pet project, which also relies on donations.
"If I didn't have to deal with humans and all their drama in life, I would be perfectly content just taking care of cats," she said.
She now has staff and a team of volunteers to keep the house clean and the cats fed. The sanctuary also employs veterinarians who keep the cats healthy and spayed or neutered. The cats lap up about 1,000 cans of cat food a week.
People looking for a furry companion are allowed kitty cuddle time on adoption days.
A cat-proof fence keeps predators out and cat doors allow them free reign of the home.
"They've got this house. They've got 12 acres. They can climb a tree. They can go sit in the sun outside," Lattanzio said. "It just gives these animals a reason to live as opposed to just living in a cage just because no one wants them."

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A police officer in Salina, Utah pranked a number of Drivers on April Fools Day, by telling them he had a drug sniffing cat that needed to search their cars. 
Police Chief Eric Pratt pulled it off when he pulled over a driver for going 91 mph in an 80 mph zone. After repremanding the driver for going too fast, he asked the passengers in the car about a smell coming from the car. The passengers said they didn't know what he was talking about, at which point Pratt said "I'm with the feline unit, the Saline Police Department's feline unit and I have my feline partner with me.
He goes on to say, "So what I'm going to do, I'm going to deploy my cat around the outside of your vehicle. If the cat indicates the odour of a controlled substance, we're going to go from there, OK?"
Sure enough, he then got the cat out of his patrol car, which he introduced to the car full of people as Officer Froo Froo. 
He said the cat would meow three times if she smelled drugs, and sure enough she searched the car. When Officer Froo Froo took an interest in a woman in the back seat, the officer decided he couldn't keep a straight face any longer -- and told the group of people it was all a prank. 
Sure enough, they all laughed.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Several large illuminated rabbits installed at San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza will have round-the-clock security until the exhibit comes down this month.
San Francisco TV station KCBS reports Monday that the giant inflatable bunnies are part of a public art installation.
To prevent the kind of vandalism that hit Super Bowl 50 artwork earlier this year, the bunnies will get 24-hour security until the exhibit ends April 25.
The two-story art piece titled "Intrude" by Australian artist Amanda Parer toured much of the world before arriving at the steps of City Hall.
Kate Patterson of the San Francisco Arts Commission says the exhibit is ideal because it's in a space where people can come and enjoy it and "take what they want from it."

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A New Jersey police car came dangerously close to being crushed by a large tree when the tree snapped and fell onto the road amid powerful winds Sunday, dashcam footage from the patrol car shows. 
Boonton Township police said a sergeant was driving a patrol car eastbound on Rockaway Valley Road just before 8 a.m. Sunday when winds brought a large tree down directly in front of the car.
The sergeant was able to steer his car away from the trunk, narrowly avoiding a collision. But footage shows a pickup truck driven by Alex Conklin coming from the opposite direction slamming into the tree and briefly going airborne before resting on top of it.
Incredibly, the driver did not suffer any injuries, according to police. The sergeant in the patrol car was also OK. 
"(It was) the worst amusement park ride you've ever been on," Conklin said Tuesday. 
Tow truck driver Mike Corigliano came to the scene after the crash and took photos after the crash, and noted that a bent bumper appeared to be the only visible sign of damage to Conklin's truck.
"It's something you would see in 'Dukes of Hazzard'," Corigliano said.
Gusts of 60 mph were reported in the tri-state area early Sunday morning, and subsided by the afternoon. But torn-offs roofs, uprooted trees and knocked-down power lines were left in their wake. 
Winds knocked out electric power to as many as 63,000 customers in New Jersey and New York, utility officials said.

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Wal-Mart said Monday it's embarrassed to "stick our head out of our shell" after the mega-store sold University of Maryland Terrapins T-shirts that showed the state of Massachusetts instead of the state of Maryland.
A customer spotted the error in a Wal-Mart store last week and posted a photo to Wal-Mart's Twitter page. A Wal-Mart employee at the time defended the shirts by saying Maryland and Massachusetts have similar dips on the right side.
But another Wal-Mart employee apologized for the error on Monday with a turtle pun - terrapins are small turtles found in the eastern United States.
The shirts will be removed from stores, a company spokesman said.
"We are working with Russell Athletic to determine how this happened and in the meantime are removing the shirt from our stores," the spokesman said by email. "We understand the pride Marylanders feel for the Terps, and apologize for the mistake."
Apparently, this isn't the first time Wal-Mart has made the mistake. Another Twitter user brought up the same issue in July.

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SEATTLE - Crews are working to clear dozens of boxes of frozen seafood from the Alaskan Way Viaduct after a semi-truck tipped over on SR 99, shutting down all northbound lanes through downtown Seattle.
The accident happened just past the S. Royal Brougham Way Exit early Monday afternoon, blocking the right lane of traffic. Once a tow truck arrived, all northbound lanes of traffic were shut down. Southbound lanes were temporarily closed while they were moving the truck, but were reopened.
Crews managed to upright the truck, but in the process, the trucks' contents - dozens of boxes of "cooked frozen crab" -  spilled onto the roadway.
Last April,  an overturned semi-truck containing frozen fish flipped on the highway, shutting down the interstate for nine hours and causing gridlock throughout the city. 
SDOT crews towed the semi from the scene and were working to clear the boxes from the roadway. Once SDOT deems the viaduct safe, traffic will reopen.
Drivers are advised to take alternate routes.

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Key West, FL - A new art gallery you have to "sea" to believe has opened off the coast of the Florida Keys.
Divers installed about a dozen photo illustrations on the Vandenberg's weather deck - part of the world's second-largest artificial reef.
The reef is located in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary about seven miles south of Key West and more than 90 feet below the surface.
The images are encased in plexiglass and mounted in stainless steel frames sealed with silicone and were created by Austrian art photographer Andreas Franke.
Franke says the images are a continuation of the "Sinking World" series which debuted on the Vandenberg in 2011.
Franke says the images depict "a flamboyant era of European style and cultural history."

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