Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, April 19th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, April 19th

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Donkeys will be dispatched around the city this summer ahead of the Democratic National Convention, the host committee announced Tuesday.
Fifty-seven fiberglass donkeys will be displayed at various sites and attractions starting July 1. The symbol of the Democratic Party will represent each U.S. state, each territory, Washington, D.C., and Democrats abroad.
The donkeys will be painted with iconic images from each location, chosen by each state's delegates. The ideas were given to Philadelphia artists to create.
"Donkeys Around Town" is an effort to get residents in the convention spirit and encourage delegates and other visitors to explore the city. It's the brainchild of former Gov. Ed Rendell, who's the host committee chairman.
Rendell said he was inspired by a similar program in Erie a few years back that seemed to get tourists and locals excited to explore the city and the artworks.
"I think it's going to be great for the delegates and great for the residents," Rendell said.
The decorated donkeys will be found in places like the Betsy Ross House, the Philadelphia Art Museum and the city's Clef Club of Jazz.
Pennsylvania's donkey was the first to be unveiled Tuesday. Painted royal blue with yellow ears, it depicts Pennsylvania icons such as the Liberty Bell, Amish country and the state's flag, bird and flower.
The committee is putting the donkeys only at locations with security on site.
The donkeys also will sport "Do Not Sit" signs, even though they each can hold up to 250 pounds, said Angela Val, of the DNC's host committee. And their large metal bases make it tough to topple them.
The Mural Arts Program is prepared to quickly repair any vandalism.
Delegates can take their home states' donkeys home or allow them to be auctioned, with proceeds going to the artists.

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LONDON (AP) -- Boaty McBoatface may be sunk.
Britain's science minister has indicated that the country's newest polar research vessel is unlikely to be christened with the name, which topped an online poll.
The Natural Environment Research Council had asked for help finding a name reflecting the 200 million-pound ($284 million) ship's mission and celebrating British naval history.
The jokey suggestion Boaty McBoatface got 124,109 votes, more than three times its nearest rival.
The vote was advisory. Science Minister Jo Johnson said Monday that "imaginative" suggestions would all be reviewed. But he said the vessel's name should capture "the spirit of scientific endeavor."
Former BBC radio host James Hand, who proposed Boaty McBoatface, has apologized for the furor. Hand says he actually voted to name the ship after naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough.

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ASBURY PARK, N.J. (AP) - A roach-infested apartment has exploded in New Jersey after fumes from bug-killing spray built up and combusted, sending two adults and one child to a hospital.
A spokesman for the Asbury Park Fire Department tells the Asbury Park Press the explosion happened Wednesday night after an occupant was spraying insecticide, got a headache and opened a window.
Garrett Giberson says the oxygen from outside combined with the fumes and a stove's pilot light to cause the explosion.
The blast blew out the first-floor apartment's windows, bent the front door and damaged the kitchen.
He says the three people are lucky they weren't seriously injured.
Giberson says the home was still crawling with cockroaches when he arrived.
The American Red Cross is providing shelter for the three-story complex's tenants.

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CHICO, California (AP) -- A 108-year-old woman believed to be the oldest living female military veteran kept her feet firmly on the ground Monday, deciding at the last minute to turn down a flight aboard a World War II-era biplane, according to the nonprofit that organized the ride.
Lynn Balmer was scheduled to take off from Chico, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Sacramento, but decided against the flight in the morning, said Darryl Fisher, president of the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, a group that gets aging veterans into the sky.
Balmer was at the airfield but said, "I don't need it," when asked whether she would fly. She did not elaborate.
The foundation honors seniors and U.S. military veterans with flights aboard a Boeing Stearman biplane, the same type of plane used to train military aviators during World War II.
Balmer served in the U.S. Coast Guard, working as a coder while stationed in Seattle, according to the foundation. The Chico Enterprise-Record reported she enlisted during World War II. She achieved the rank of lieutenant.
Balmer, the oldest of nine children, worked as a math teacher before that.

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Sydney (AFP) - Australian swimming great Grant Hackett apologised for his "poor behaviour" Monday after he was accused of drunkenly squeezing a fellow airline passenger's nipple because he reclined his seat.
Hackett, 35, said he was embarrassed at reports of his actions, which came after this month's failed attempt to qualify for the Rio Olympics at the Australian trials in Adelaide.
"I seriously and genuinely regret my poor behaviour," said the former long-time 1500m world record-holder.
"I have stuffed up more than once and am working on these issues. It is embarrassing to hear and read the consequences of my actions.
"I apologise unreservedly to the gentleman on the flight."
Reports of events in the business class section of the Virgin Australia flight from Adelaide were splashed across Australian media.
Australian Federal Police confirmed that they spoke to a 35-year-old man at Melbourne airport and that no charges were laid.
Various media said the incident was sparked when the passenger in front of Hackett reclined his seat.
The male passenger, who was not named, told Melbourne's Herald-Sun newspaper that as he reclined his chair, Hackett "grabbed it and yanked it back".
"Then he put his hand through and groped my chest and tweaked my nipple quite forcefully," he alleged.
Gary Pert, the chief executive of the Collingwood Football Club, said he was seated across the aisle from Hackett and saw the incident unfold.
"He (Hackett) was not aggressive or upset," Pert told Melbourne radio station 3AW.
"One of the passengers in front of him put his chair back and Grant just leant forward, put his hand between the seat and appeared to just tap the person."
Pert said that he later helped Hackett off the plane.
"I think he would be the first one to say he was affected by alcohol and literally was asleep or passed out on the flight for the majority of the time," he added.
Hackett, one of the greats of Australian swimming, retired after the 2008 Beijing Olympics after winning the 1500m freestyle at both the 2000 and 2004 Games.
He went through a divorce and underwent rehab in 2014 after seeking help for an addiction to sleeping pills.
Hackett came out of retirement with hopes of becoming the oldest Australian swimmer to qualify for an Olympics, but missed out when he failed to qualify for the 200 metres freestyle final at the Australian Swimming Championships.
Swimming Australia said it was "extremely disappointed" to hear the reports after the sport's positive week in Adelaide, where a number of young stars qualified for Rio.
"The reported incident was particularly surprising, given the manner in which Grant conducted himself over the duration of the event," a statement said.
"Given Grant's recent experiences, we are concerned for Grant's welfare and believe that it is very important that we provide Grant with all the support we can provide to ensure his progress as a person remains on track," it added.
Hackett said that for now, he was trying to make direct contact with his fellow passenger.
"I know I have to front the media and discuss my actions in a more appropriate and accountable way," he said.
"I just have to sort a few things first so I can be as frank and open as I need to be."
Australian swimming is trying to turn the corner after a flop at the 2012 Olympics when their campaign was marred by ill-discipline, drug use and drunkenness.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A suburban Philadelphia lawyer with a master's degree in taxation who told Pennsylvania ethics investigators he found paying taxes to be "annoying" isn't getting back his law license.
The state Supreme Court last month denied Sebastian Rainone's request to reinstate his license, nearly a decade after he was disbarred for mishandling client funds and violating registration rules.
Rainone has served as campus dean and taught business and ethics classes at Strayer University in Willingboro, New Jersey. He previously was a tenured faculty member at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.
The high court's disciplinary board for lawyers says Rainone owed more than $100,000 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and U.S. taxes as of last year's reinstatement hearing.
Messages left with Strayer and Rainone's lawyer weren't returned.

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It's almost always fun when you get a delivery in the mail. But imagine getting your groceries dropped off at home -- bread, milk, etc., when a rather unexpected item shows up too. 
30-year-old Harriet Stapley, from The Slade, Kent, says she opened her Tesco online shopping delivery, and found a tiny crab -- still alive -- just sitting on top of a yogurt package she bought for her son. 
The delivery did have fish in it, a sealed package of salmon, but the crab decided he was better off hanging out with the yogurt.
The crab was dropped off at her home along with bread, milk and other groceries by a Tesco delivery driver.
At first, Stapley thought the crab was dead, so she showed her 3-year-old son Jack. When he took the package inside, the little crab started to move. 
She called Tesco, who said to contact the RSPCA. When she couldn't reach anyone, she called Tesco back, who said they'd send someone to come pick him up and release him. Realizing that would be a little silly, Stapley decided to fill a bucket with water.
She put the crab inside, and took him to a nearby lake, where she sent him on his merry -- or crabby -- way. 

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(CNN) - The co-founders of Ben & Jerry's ice cream were arrested at the U.S. Capitol Monday.
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were among approximately 300 people arrested as part of the Democracy Awakening protests that converged on the nation's capital this weekend.
The company's website said its purpose is "to ensure that every citizen's voice is heard and that power in this country is returned to the people."
Democracy Awakening mobilized to "protect voting rights, get big money out of politics and demand a fair hearing and an up or down vote on President Obama's Supreme Court nominee," their website said.
A statement from the U.S. Capitol Police said the protestors were arrested for unlawful demonstration activities. They were processed on the scene and released, the statement said.
On Tuesday in Delaware the pair of ice cream moguls will campaign for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, their home state senator in Vermont. They will hand out free ice cream at the event, according to a Delaware for Bernie Facebook page.
Earlier this year, Cohen made a limited edition flavor for Sanders called "Bernie's Yearning."

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Columbia, SC - Dozens of muggles descended upon Columbia, South Carolina to crown a quidditch champion.
60 teams from around the country will compete in the US Quidditch Cup to determine the sport's 9th national champion.
In 2005, those who cannot fly on brooms brought the most popular sport in the wizarding world to college campuses both in the US and around the world.
Seven players are on the field for each team, and they use volleyballs or "quaffles" to score points through a set of hoops.
Dodgeballs or "bludgers" are used to knock the other team's players out. One player from each team is assigned to try and capture the golden snitch - a person dressed in a yellow uniform - which ends the game.
The US Quidditch Cup continues on Sunday.

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West Virginia -  You've seen TV shows and movies where a message was found in a bottle, but now it's really happened in West Virginia.
Two sisters stuffed a message in a bottle 27-years ago, and now someone has found it.
Tabitha Wolford and Melissa Kidwell are sisters and grew up writing letters in search of pen pals. One day in March of 1989, they decided to put a letter in a bottle and drop it in the river.
"This particular one we put into a big bottle and wrote our names, and hoping that someone would reply and send it on its way," said Kidwell. 
Now, after 27 years the message they wrote was found by Dean Twigg and Amanda Smith on a fishing a trip on Sir Johns Run in Morgan County. The couple was surprised to find a letter nearly 30 years old in a bottle still in good condition.
Through Facebook they were able to find the sisters and decided to reach out to them and see if they were interested in receiving the letter. 
"But as soon as I opened Facebook," Wolford said. "I recognized my handwriting as a child, so it was a little odd at first and then when I realized then it was really exciting, you know, so I wanted to definitely get a hold of whoever had the letter."
On Tuesday morning they met at the location where the note was found. Melissa and Tabitha say being able to retrieve the letter means a lot for them. 
"I think it brings closeness," Kidwell said. "My sister and I we've always been pretty close, so I think it actually brings us even closer together as a family to see the memories of what we've done and to connect with other people."
Melissa and Tabitha say they look at Amanda and Dean as new friends and "pen pals" 27 years later. 
The sisters say they already added their new friends on Facebook and are excited about what will come from their new friendship. 

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