Mad Minute stories for April 11, 2016 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories for April 11, 2016

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MATRESS DOMINOES

NATIONAL HARBOUR, Md. (AP) -- Aaron's Inc., an appliance and electronics-leasing company, has broken the Guinness World Record for the longest human mattress domino chain.

Guinness World Records released a video of the feat Thursday, showing 1,200 people holding mattresses behind them and falling backward into each other, one at a time, inside a Prince George's County, Maryland, warehouse on March 22.

The attempt was aided by a dominoes expert and certified by a Guinness World Record adjudicator. The previous record had been 1,150.

Aaron's CEO John Robinson pushed over the first mattress. It took 13 minutes and 38 seconds for the final mattress to fall.

The Atlanta-based company says it will be donating all 1,200 mattresses to Washington-area organizations focused on ending poverty and providing shelter to homeless families.

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GUY ROBS A COP

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Call it a case of very rotten luck. A man in Tennessee has been arrested after authorities say he tried to rob a Knoxville police officer who was sitting in an unmarked police car.

Citing a police report, the Knoxville News-Sentinel (http://bit.ly/20uuat9 ) says the officer was sitting in the driver's seat of his car in a parking lot Saturday when 22-year-old Brandon A. Williams opened the passenger door and demanded money.

Police say the officer identified himself and drew his weapon, prompting Williams to flee before being caught.

Williams has been charged with attempted robbery, assault, evading arrest and resisting and possession of drug paraphernalia. It is unclear whether he has an attorney.

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REAL LIFE HAMBURGURGLAR

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Authorities say a man got hungry while he was burglarizing a District of Columbia hamburger restaurant and began cooking himself some food.

The Metropolitan Police Department said in a news release that security footage from March 18 shows the suspect putting food on the grill after breaking into a Five Guys restaurant.

The video appears to show the man cooking two cheeseburgers while talking on a cellphone, but a police spokesman tells The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/25TxDFL) he couldn't confirm the nature of the food.

Officer Sean Hickman says the man sneaked inside the restaurant after a delivery person left, and eventually stole a bottle of water.

Authorities say the incident is being investigated as a burglary. A $1,000 reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest.

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70 YEARS AT A HOSPITAL

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Talk about a loyal employee: Elena Griffing has just celebrated her 70th year working for the same San Francisco Bay Area hospital and she has no plans to retire anytime soon.

Sutter Health Alta Bates Summit Medical Center spokeswoman Carolyn Kemp says the company marked Griffing's milestone employment and her recent 90th birthday. But for Griffing, who has held several different positions in her decades of employment, every day on the job is a celebration.

"I can't wait to come to work every day, this is my hospital," she said. "I enjoy anything I can do to be of service. Truly, it's the patient that counts. If it's helping someone, it's my bag."

She isn't kidding.

As if her employment longevity wasn't enough, consider this: She has taken only four days of sick leave in her 70 years of work.

About 15 years ago she had her appendix removed at the Berkeley facility on a Sunday. On Monday morning, she put on her robe, walked one floor down from her hospital room and got to work.

"It was no big deal," she said. "There was nothing wrong with my hands, I could still type and do what I had to do."

But when the doctor got wind, he sent her home.

Griffing's first day on the job was April 10, 1946, when she was 20. Back then, the facility in Berkeley was called Alta Bates Community Hospital.

She worked there with founder and nurse Alta Alice Miner Bates. In her early years when Bates saw Griffing in the halls of the hospital, she told her to stop wearing her signature 3-inch heels because she might fall and would probably sue the hospital. She has done neither.

"I always got that shaking finger at me, and I was always shaking in my boots when I saw her," she said.

She says she only wears 2 1/2 inch heels now.

Her first job in the hospital was in the laboratory were frogs and rabbits were injected with a woman's urine to determine if she was pregnant. Griffing was the right hand woman to the pathologist and quickly became an expert at catheterizing frogs. She also worked with an endocrinologist for 10 years and another 22 years in the Alta Bates Burn Center.

She currently works in patient relations four days a week.

"I don't feel any differently than I did when I was 20. I am truly so lucky," she said.

But times have changed since her first day on the job, when the average wage was $2,500 a year and a gallon of gas cost 15 cents.

"When I started here, I thought I was making such a lot of money, but I think I was making about $120 a month," she said. She makes enough money now to live a comfortable life in nearby Orinda, enjoys gardening and jazz and - coming to work. If she has her way, she'll keep working "until they throw me out or they carry me out in a box."

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CLINTON'S CAR FOR SALE

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A retired White House gardener is selling Hillary Clinton's 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass, which he bought at an auction for the residence's workers and has been sitting in his Pennsylvania garage for years.

Mike Lawn, who worked at the White House for nearly three decades, bought the car in 2000 to give to his daughter when she turned 16, but she wouldn't drive it.

"She said it looked like an old lady's car," Lawn told The Evening Sun newspaper (http://bit.ly/1TMeGQl). "She didn't know why it had cranks in the windows."

The four-door sedan, complete with 1990 "Clinton for Governor" sticker on the back windshield and Arkansas license plates, has been hardly used over the last 16 years, with just over 32,000 miles on it.

The car was parked on the south grounds of the White House for eight years, he said, and was only moved occasionally to make sure the battery was running. However, he said he did see Chelsea Clinton drive the car when preparing to get her driver's license.

He said he found a few items in the car, including a pair of Clinton's sunglasses in the glove compartment.

The title still reads "Hillary Rodham Clinton" because Lawn never got the vehicle re-tagged.

Lawn, who lives in Gettysburg, said with Clinton now the Democratic front-runner in the presidential race, the time is right to sell.

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STARBUCKS GOAT

ROHNERT PARK, Calif. (AP) -- Police say a goat apparently needed a caffeine fix when it wandered into a Starbucks in Northern California.

Rohnert Park police Sgt. Rick Bates says dispatchers received several calls Sunday morning about a goat named Milly wandering around a strip mall on the city's eastern edge.

Bates says employees who were opening the Starbucks tried to give Milly a banana, but she walked past them and began chewing on a box.

Bates took Milly into custody and brought her to the animal shelter - but not before snapping photos of her sniffing around the Starbucks and posting them on the police department's Facebook page.

He says word spread to Milly's owner, and she has made it home.

She didn't travel far; her owner Alan Ergenbright says the 11-year-old pet goat lives just two doors down.

"When we heard, we thought she was a little crazy," Ergenbright told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat (http://bit.ly/1S08I9V). "She's a really happy and sweet goat. She's also pretty curious."

Rohnert Park is about 50 miles north of San Francisco.

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MAGIC RABBIT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Like a magic hat trick, a large rabbit named Dolly Parton who disappeared from a Salt Lake County farm has suddenly reappeared.

KSL-TV of Salt Lake City reports (http://bit.ly/1Q22kN2) that Wheeler Historic Farm announced Dolly's return Sunday morning.

Employees at the working public farm discovered the rabbit missing around noon Wednesday. Murray police say the lock on Dolly's cage had been cut, leading investigators to believe the bunny-napping was premeditated.

Program coordinator Raegan Scharman said Sunday a farmer found Dolly hopping around in her cage. The rabbit appeared to be in good condition.

Farm officials say they don't know how or when she was returned. But they're thankful to whoever brought her back.

Dolly is one of three Flemish giant rabbits at the farm.

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ORIGINAL PRANKSTER

COON RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) -- A prank caller tricked workers at a Minnesota Burger King into smashing the windows of the restaurant to keep it from exploding, police said Saturday, mirroring similar deceptions at Burger Kings and other fast-food restaurants in other states in recent months.

Police said employees at the restaurant in the Minneapolis suburb of Coon Rapids got the call Friday night from someone claiming to be with the fire department. The caller said the restaurant could explode, so they needed to relieve the pressure. The manager and other employees believed the caller and smashed all the windows on the ground floor.

"Officers arrived and found that the manager and employees of the Burger King were smashing out the windows," Sgt. Rick Boone told the Star Tribune. "The manager explained they'd received a phone call from a male who identified himself as a fireman who said there were dangerous levels of gas in the building and they had to break out all the windows to keep the building from blowing up."

Boone said there was no immediate cost estimate for the damage. The restaurant was boarded up Saturday, and investigators were trying to identify the caller.

Someone placed a similar call to a Burger King in Shawnee, Oklahoma, on Thursday night, claiming there were high levels of carbon monoxide in the building. KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City reported that the window damage there was estimated at $10,000.

"It is a little upsetting that they would try to give the fire department a black eye," Thomas Larman, of the Shawnee Fire Department, told the station. "We would never do anything like that. We're here to serve the public, protect the public."

A similar call to Burger King in Morro Bay, California, about a purported gas leak in early February resulted in $35,000 in damage. Not only did employees smash the windows, but a manager went as far as ramming his car into building. And police in Tucson, Arizona, say several similar prank calls were placed to Jack in the Box restaurants there in early February, fooling workers at one store. A similar incident happened at a Wendy's in Phoenix in late January.

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ROBBERY FOILED

(CNN)Two would-be robbers left a shiny impression on police in southern Brazil, when they chose an unusual form of camouflage during an attempted bank robbery: head-to-toe aluminum foil.

According to Santa Catarina military police, the suspects were most likely trying to foil the alarm of the Praia Grande branch of the Banco do Brasil late Saturday when they chose the metal outfits.

What they failed to notice were the internal security cameras, which were capturing their every move in a centralized surveillance office.

"They broke down one of the walls and thought the detectors from the alarm would not notice them," Santa Catarina military police spokesman Maj. Cristian Dimitri told CNN. "When the bank's central monitoring system saw them on the screen, they called the police immediately."

Screen grabs from the closed circuit footage showed two men crawling on the ground in the improvised aluminum suits, near the bank's main safe.

"We found a power drill and other instruments that lead us to believe they were looking to break into the safe," Dimitri said. "However, they left empty-handed."

Police believe they were working with one or two other people, who acted as lookouts and tipped them off before the squad cars arrived on the scene.

At least one person was arrested over the weekend in connection with the attempted robbery. According to Dimitri, the man was found in nearby woods and had previous robbery arrests on his record.

In the past, a separate group managed to rob several ATMs in Rio de Janeiro using an aluminum cloak. The disguise was meant to throw off an alarm activated by body heat.

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CHIEF WOMBAT CUDDLER.

Do you like wombats? Would you like to spend all day cuddling one? Tasmania has a job for you. 

Tourism Tasmania is seeking a "Chief Wombat Cuddler" for Derek, a Flinders Island wombat who lost his mother. 

Interested applicants are asked to fill in a form stating why they are the best person to fill the role of chief wombat cuddler. 

Tourism Tasmania's websites says the winner of the competition and a friend be flown Tasmania's Flinders Island "to smother our little friend with affection, you'll get to spend three nights exploring Derek's island home".

Sorry world this job is open only to Australians. 

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