Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, April 6th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, April 6th

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida man with a tattoo of Florida on his face is facing burglary charges.
The Palm Beach Post reported Wednesday that 25-year-old Johnathan Hewett is jailed without bond. He has a map of Florida tattooed on his left forehead and temple.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said Hewett is seen on surveillance video prying open the door of a home last month. Officials say he took a gun and two watches.
The homeowner identified him as the friend of a former roommate. Detectives say the video clearly shows Hewett's tattoo spelling "red rum" on his neck. That's "murder" spelled backward.
He was released from prison last August after serving eight months for being a felon in possession of a gun.

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WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (AP) -- Authorities in Northern California say a man charged with burglary needed surgery to remove a stolen ring that he had swallowed while fleeing police.
The San Jose Mercury News newspaper reports the chase ended when the man, identified as 36-year-old Joel Steffensen of Martinez crashed his car into a fence at a rapid transit station last Thursday.
Walnut Creek police spokesman Lt. Lanny Edwards says a hospital X-ray showed a ring lodged in his esophagus. The resident of the home that was burglarized later identified the gold wedding band.
Prosecutors charged Steffensen with burglary, evasion of police officers and resisting arrest. It was not immediately known if Steffensen has an attorney.

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TEANECK, N.J. (AP) -- A New Jersey town plans to acquire 20 air horns to help its residents deal with aggressive wild turkeys.
Animal Control Officer Vincent Ascolese said he will give the air horns to Teaneck officials to distribute to the public, The Record newspaper reported.
"We have to coexist as best as possible," he said.
Amy Schweitzer, of the state Department of Environmental Protection's fish and wildlife division, said she captured an aggressive male turkey on Tuesday, which she said will help ease the aggression of the wild birds.
Officials said they've received about a dozen complaints - and one police report - from residents reporting aggressive wild turkeys. The birds have attacked residents, pecked at cars and held up traffic. One has flown through a resident's glass kitchen window.
Town officials said only the state is able to touch the birds, but residents can humanely scare them away by using water hoses or making loud noises to assert dominance.
Schweitzer said that cardboard in windows or window decorations can help keep birds from defecating in yards or attacking windows.
The birds' aggressive behavior tends to decrease in the summer when flocks break up, Schweitzer said. Residents with an immediate issue have been told to call the police.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker is feeling so good about the role he played in Ted Cruz's victory in Wisconsin that he's comparing himself to two of the greatest quarterbacks in Green Bay Packers' history.
Walker says Donald Trump's decision to attack his record as governor is like someone going to Lambeau Field and 'taking a whack' at Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers or retired great Brett Favre.
The Republican governor was commenting Wednesday in an interview on Milwaukee's WTMJ radio. Cruz won Wisconsin on Tuesday by 13 points over Trump.
Walker's approval rating his above 80 percent among Wisconsin Republicans, nearly double what it is among all residents. Trump criticized Walker's record while campaigning in Wisconsin.
Walker says like going after his record, attacking Rodgers or Favre "just would not have worked."

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Utah man facing criminal charges for posing as a federal agent to get into a $10,000-a-head VIP room at Comic Con in Salt Lake City agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors Tuesday.
Jonathon M. Wall, 30, pleaded guilty to impersonating a federal officer at the September 2015 pop-culture event where many people dress in elaborate costumes inspired by superheroes and science fiction movie characters. Prosecutors will drop a second charge of making a false statement in exchange for his plea.
Wall claimed he was an agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and needed a pair of passes to a lounge room for famous guests to catch a fugitive, according to charging documents. He showed conference staff a photo of a real wanted fugitive and said he was there with a 60-person crew, prosecutors said.
Wall acknowledged Tuesday that he flashed the federal identification he uses for his job at Hill Air Force Base. He said he came up with the idea on the spot and didn't think a Comic Con staffer he tried it on believed him.
Wall never made it to the VIP lounge, but a security guard who heard the story got suspicious and called the Air Force, which sent agents to question Wall and confirmed he didn't work for the military branch, the charges said.
U.S. District Judge Jill Parrish asked the prosecutor whether Wall was dressed in a costume and pretending to be a character like thousands of others at the convention. Prosecutor Carlos Esqueda said Wall was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, not a costume or uniform.
Wall, of Layton, faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing set for June 9.
The comic book convention attracted about 120,000 people and featured "Captain America" actor Chris Evans.

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Halberstadt, Germany - A sex toy sparked a bomb scare at the Spielothek casino in Germany. 
When an employee suddenly heard ticking and humming coming from the trash in the men's bathroom, he quickly called police. Officers evacuated the whole casino and the stores nearby. 
They called in bomb squad who searched the place, and found a vibrating penis ring in the trash. 
No one really knows how the penis ring got there, but police say they're just happy everyone was able to react on the safe side - just in case. 

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A dog in an animal shelter in the UK is apparently sleeping itself out of a home. By letting this sleeping dog lie, Jasper the greyhound may be preventing potential adopters from wanting to meet him. 
The Dogs Trust Snetterton shelter in North End, UK, has housed Jasper for the last six months. In that time, employees say some 2,000 families have looked past him because he's always asleep when they come in. 
In a press release, Supporter Relations Officer, Lara Murphy said "We take in hundreds of dogs of all shapes and sizes but I have never met a dog who sleeps quite as much as Jasper. Jasper is exceptionally handsome so it's a bit of a shame he is often snoozing when he could be showing himself off to potential owners."
The three 3-year-old dog was dumped at the shelter after his career as a racing champion was over. The staff says it's really a shame that he hasn't been adopted, because he's a very sweet dog when awake. They say he's happy, healthy, and low maintenance. 
For more information on Jasper, visit his adoption page at
https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/rehoming/dogs/dog/filters/snet~~~~~n~/1139896/jasper

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A gold-flecked meteorite that has traveled from the asteroid belt near Mars to the mountains of Fukang, China, and finally Marin County, California, is at the center of a vicious ownership battle being waged in San Francisco federal court.
The 227-pound iron "pallasite" meteorite is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old. First discovered in Fukang, China about 15 years ago, it could be worth as much as $1 million, according to Stephen Settgast, an asteroid collector who claims he's the rightful owner.
He sued a museum in Maine and a self-described New York meteorite expert in February alleging breach of contract over the sale of the meteorite. But they have now filed a counterclaim, alleging that Settgast, who is staying in Marin County, is behind a "blatant theft of a unique and precious meteorite."
The countersuit alleges Settgast sold the meteorite for $425,000, then engaged in an "outrageous act of seller's remorse" by stealing back the space rock for himself.
"This isn't a typical theft," said Wayne Minckley, undersheriff in Miami County, Kansas, in a Skype interview with NBC Bay Area.
A sheriff is involved in the out-of-this-world case because authorities aren't yet ready to decide who stole the meteorite until the suit is settled.
"It's a complicated case in the mere fact that the individual who sold it to the folks in Maine is our suspect in the theft," Minckley said.
Settgast would not speak on the record. But his attorney, Curt Edmonson of the Oregon firm Slinde Nelson Stanford, said this is a simple business dispute gone awry.
"Civil suits don't use terms like 'steal.' That's a criminal term," he said. "We didn't go over the top in our complaint, but they certainly went over the top in their counterclaims."
Settgast is the rightful owner of the huge hunk of iron, Edmonson said.
But Settgast's story is full of holes, according to the founders of the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum - Lawrence Stifler and Mary McFadden of Brookline, Massachusetts - and meteorite expert Darryl Pitt, of New York. All three filed the counterclaim on March 29.
In the suit, Jeff Valle, the trio's Los Angeles attorney, laid out his clients' argument like this: Noted for his ability to spot beauty and value in meteorites, Pitt suggested to the museum founders that they buy the meteorite in question. Stifler and McFadden agreed to pay Settgast $425,000 to feature the "Fukang meteorite" in their museum, which is not yet open.
In August 2014, Pitt brokered the deal with Settgast. Pitt made the final of three payments in February 2015, the counterclaim contends. According to his website biography, Pitt is the purveyor of the "world's foremost collection of aesthetic iron meteorites," which he describes as "extraterrestrial objects d'art."
Valle and Pitt have declined to be interviewed.
After the money was paid, Pitt and the museum founders waited for the meteorite to be cleaned up and prepared by Kansas duo Keith and Dana Jenkerson, of KD Meteorites. The couple's website twinkles with brightly lit stars and boasts they've been "chasing meteorites since 1990s."
The Jenkersons took almost two years to stabilize, restore and prepare the "Fukang meteorite," the countersuit alleges, and on Jan. 10, Keith Jenkerson told Pitt this was "one of the most awesome meteorites to ever be displayed." He guessed the spiffed-up space rock to now be worth $1 million. But Pitt and the museum founders said this higher price is wildly inflated, the counterclaim states.
Less than two weeks later, the meteorite was reported stolen.
Pitt and the museum founders allege that Settgast, whose lawyer described him as a "world-renowned" fossil hunter in Montana, snuck into the Jenkersons' lab on Jan. 23 and stole back the meteorite. Settgast's attorneys claim a condition of the sale was that the meteorite couldn't be shown in a public museum, a point the museum founders' say is simply not true, the counterclaim contends.
How Settgast would have gotten the meteorite out of the lab, at the Jenkersons' home in Osawatomie, Kansas, without detection, and then to Marin County, where Settgast has been living with his aging mother, has not been clearly explained.
Minckley, from the sheriff's office, reiterated that it's his understanding Settgast stole the meteorite from the lab. He said there was no surveillance video to document what might have happened. His office, however, is reserving a final determination on whether a crime was committed, and by whom, until a federal judge makes a ruling on who really owns the meteorite.
As for why the sheriff's department is letting the civil case play out first, Edmonson said: "That tells you a little bit about how they feel about the criminal action. If they don't feel there is enough evidence for the claim of theft, then it's not there."
A hearing is set for June.

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A college essay about one teen's drive to explore life - as well as her deep and abiding love for Costco - has won over admissions counselors at six of the most prestigious schools in the U.S.
Brittany Stinson, an 18-year-old senior at Concord High School in Wilmington, Delaware, found out last week that she got into five Ivy League universities - Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, and Cornell - as well as the similarly competitive Stanford.
Stinson, the only child of Terry and Joe Stinson, neither of whom are Ivy League nor Stanford graduates themselves, wants to be a doctor, and her mother says she has always been a strong student.
"She's always gotten straight As, takes the most rigorous courses she can, and is first in her class," Terry Stinson, a Brazilian immigrant who became an American citizen only a few years ago, told NBC News.
Aside from her academics, Stinson's unusual essay made her college application stand out.
In response to the essay question, which asks students to share a "background, identity, interest or talent that is so meaningful," their application would be incomplete without it, Stinson described her admiration for America's largest wholesale warehouse - and how "the kingdom of Costco" was symbolic of so much more in her life.
Brittany Stinson got accepted to five Ivies plus Stanford after writing her college essay about Costco. Courtesy of the Stinson family
"Just as I sampled buffalo ­chicken dip or chocolate truffles, I probed the realms of history, dance and biology, all in pursuit of the ideal cart-one overflowing with theoretical situations and notions both silly and serious," she wrote. "I sampled calculus, cross-­country running, scientific research, all of which are now household favorites. With cart in hand, I do what scares me; I absorb the warehouse that is the world."
Writing about Costco felt natural to her, she told NBC News.
"I had always gone to Costco while growing up. It was a constant part of my childhood. I Iooked forward to trips on the weekends, and I had always treated it as a Disneyland of sorts. I was always curious about the place. The same attitude carried over to everything I tried in life," she said.
While it was risky to write about something so outlandish, Stinson felt like she needed something to stand out amid other applicants with similar grades, extracurriculars, and SAT scores.
"I couldn't afford to go via the traditional route. I would actually be more worried about taking a traditional route at the risk of blending in with other applicants," Stinson said. "I knew that writing about my experiences at Costco would at least make for a memorable essay, whether *admissions committees* loved or hated it. On another hand, I felt that the essay ended up being such an accurate representation of me and my personality."
Stinson's father, Joe, said he believes his daughter's greatest strengths are "her fortitude and tenacity, to choose among many." Her English teacher for the past two years, Leslie Wagner of Concord High School, says writing is one of those strengths too.
"Brittany has always had a knack for finding just the right phrase. She has a quiet demeanor overall, but in her writing her wit and her skill with language is quite apparent," Wagner told NBC News.
Now, Stinson has a tough choice ahead of her. She said she has "no clue" which of the universities that admitted her she will choose.
"Admitted student day visits are going to be so vital. We'll also be comparing financial aid packages," she said.
Read Brittany Stinson's full essay below, reprinted with her permission:

Managing to break free from my mother's grasp, I charged. With arms flailing and chubby legs fluttering beneath me, I was the ferocious two­ year old rampaging through Costco on a Saturday morning. My mother's eyes widened in horror as I jettisoned my churro; the cinnamon­-sugar rocket gracefully sliced its way through the air while I continued my spree. I sprinted through the aisles, looking up in awe at the massive bulk products that towered over me. Overcome with wonder, I wanted to touch and taste, to stick my head into industrial­sized freezers, to explore every crevice. I was a conquistador, but rather than searching the land for El Dorado, I scoured aisles for free samples. Before inevitably being whisked away into a shopping cart, I scaled a mountain of plush toys and surveyed the expanse that lay before me: the kingdom of Costco.

Notorious for its oversized portions and dollar-­fifty hot dog combo, Costco is the apex of consumerism. From the days spent being toted around in a shopping cart to when I was finally tall enough to reach lofty sample trays, Costco has endured a steady presence throughout my life. As a veteran Costco shopper, I navigate the aisles of foodstuffs, thrusting the majority of my weight upon a generously filled shopping cart whose enormity juxtaposes my small frame. Over time, I've developed a habit of observing fellow patrons tote their carts piled with frozen burritos, cheese puffs, tubs of ice cream, and weight-­loss supplements. Perusing the aisles gave me time to ponder. Who needs three pounds of sour cream? Was cultured yogurt any more well­-mannered than its uncultured counterpart? Costco gave birth to my unfettered curiosity.

While enjoying an obligatory hot dog, I did not find myself thinking about the 'all beef' goodness that Costco boasted. I instead considered finitudes and infinitudes, unimagined uses for tubs of sour cream, the projectile motion of said tub when launched from an eighty foot shelf or maybe when pushed from a speedy cart by a scrawny seventeen year old. I contemplated the philosophical: If there exists a thirty-­three ounce jar of Nutella, do we really have free will? I experienced a harsh physics lesson while observing a shopper who had no evident familiarity of inertia's workings. With a cart filled to overflowing, she made her way towards the sloped exit, continuing to push and push while steadily losing control until the cart escaped her and went crashing into a concrete column, 52" plasma screen TV and all. Purchasing the yuletide hickory smoked ham inevitably led to a conversation between my father and me about Andrew Jackson's controversiality. There was no questioning Old Hickory's dedication; he was steadfast in his beliefs and pursuits - qualities I am compelled to admire, yet his morals were crooked. We both found the ham to be more likeable-and tender.

I adopted my exploratory skills, fine tuned by Costco, towards my intellectual endeavors. Just as I sampled buffalo­-chicken dip or chocolate truffles, I probed the realms of history, dance and biology, all in pursuit of the ideal cart-one overflowing with theoretical situations and notions both silly and serious. I sampled calculus, cross­-country running, scientific research, all of which are now household favorites. With cart in hand, I do what scares me; I absorb the warehouse that is the world. Whether it be through attempting aerial yoga, learning how to chart blackbody radiation using astronomical software, or dancing in front of hundreds of people, I am compelled to try any activity that interests me in the slightest.

My intense desire to know, to explore beyond the bounds of rational thought; this is what defines me. Costco fuels my insatiability and cultivates curiosity within me at a cellular level. Encoded to immerse myself in the unknown, I find it difficult to complacently accept the "what"; I want to hunt for the "whys" and dissect the "hows". In essence, I subsist on discovery.

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Fairfax, VA - A gesture to honor the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has become the butt of jokes on social media. 
Last week, George Mason University announced it was re-naming its law school the "Antonin Scalia School of Law". 
But the acronym for that new name inspired some back-side humor and hind-end hash-tags. (#asslaw) 
In hind-sight, a good idea, but poorly executed.
Wednesday, the Fairfax, Virginia based law school announced another new name --- The Antonin Scalia Law School.
The official name change ceremony isn't expected until the fall. 
 

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