Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, April 27th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, April 27th

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- An oral surgeon made a Rhode Island tourism ad and paid for it to air on television following the botched rollout of the state's own tourism campaign that featured an image of Iceland.
A tourism video that Rhode Island released in March was quickly pulled after being mocked for showing footage of a Reykjavik concert hall.
Cranston surgeon Stephen Skoly said he saw the state's mistake and thought, "We could do a lot better."
Skoly, who owns a production company, created his own 30-second video featuring local footage with the tagline, "Sea Rhode Island." He said it cost about $575 to make and $3,000 to air locally on CNN and elsewhere.
"We did it for a small amount of money and I think it's better than what they spent an awful lot of money on," he said. "That was my little, subtle protest of how they're reckless with our capital, to the point that it does frustrate the taxpayers."
The state also dropped its poorly received marketing slogan, "Cooler & Warmer." The state chief marketing officer resigned.
Skoly said he wants more transparency and oversight.
When asked about Skoly's ad, Kayla Rosen, a spokesman for the state's economic development agency, said the next phase about the tourism campaign is "all about public engagement" and "we're excited to see everyone contribute."
Among the agency's new initiatives, it's opening a temporary studio in downtown Providence and creating a website where Rhode Islanders can share photos, videos and stories about their experiences in the state.
Skoly said that no one from the state has approached him about his ad, or vice versa.
He said he's not sure what he's going to do with it now, it depends on the feedback he gets.

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HARVARD, Mass. (AP) -- A rotary club in a small Massachusetts town is gearing up for its annual rubber ducky race in which the winner's prize is a free dinner for two anywhere in the world.
The Boston Globe reports that the winner of Harvard's Ducky Wucky River Race will receive free airfare, a two-night stay at a hotel and the fancy dinner.
The Ayer Rotary Club will kick off the festivities on May 7, when a construction vehicle will dump thousands of numbered ducks into the Nashua River to float downstream.
Last year's champion dined in Venice, Italy. Rotary member Jason Kauppi says past winners have traveled as far as Paris, Tokyo and Australia.
The event finishes off the Apple Blossom Festival in Harvard, a town of 6,000 residents.

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida State University class project about drug cartels and serial killers took a turn when students scrawled a message on a sidewalk associated with the infamous Zodiac Killer.
The Tallahassee Democrat reported Wednesday that police started investigating after finding the message that included the cipher associated with the serial killer responsible for several unsolved murders in northern California in the late '60s and early '70s.
The message near a student apartment complex stated "I'm alive and well and I'm going to start killing again."
Police stepped up patrols and eventually discovered it was done for an English class project. Students were told to write a message in a public forum and take a picture of it.
Tallahassee police spokesman David Northway called it a class project gone wrong.

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) -- Authorities say a New Jersey man who owes $12,000 in unpaid EZ Pass tolls has had his black Mercedes Benz impounded and is facing charges.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Joe Pentangelo said Wednesday that Oscar Sanchez, of Jersey City, was pulled over by agency police on Tuesday because the car didn't have a front license plate.
Pentangelo says the officer discovered Sanchez had an expired driver's license and more than 200 counts of missed EZ Pass toll payments amounting to about $12,000.
Sanchez faces charges including theft of service, operating a vehicle on a suspended license and not having a front license plate.
Sanchez was not immediately available for comment, and it's unclear whether he has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian transport police say a 10-year old girl flew from Moscow to St. Petersburg without identification or a ticket.
The incident that transport police reported Wednesday raises questions about security at Russian airports.
The girl, whose identity was not revealed, left home for school on Tuesday and did not return.
Alexander Rzhanenkov of the St. Petersburg city hall told Russian news agencies the girl went to Moscow's Vnukovo airport where she mingled with a crowd boarding a flight to St. Petersburg. The official said she boarded the plane together with a large family with children. Police picked her up at St. Petersburg's airport where she was wandering unaccompanied.
Children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said on Wednesday the girl's trip sends "a serious alert sign" about airport security.

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - When some central Florida women wanted plastic surgery they couldn't afford, police say they turned to a 28-year-old woman who used stolen IDs to cover the expenses.
Orlando police Detective Todd Herb tells the Orlando Sentinel that Terilyn Riggins ran the crime ring, scamming more than $50,000 worth of breast implants, tummy tucks or dental work. She was arrested March 29. It's not clear whether she has a lawyer.
Herb says they've arrested 14 women and identified at least 12 theft victims.
Police say the women were either friends of Riggins or met her in jail. Some paid her a small fee. Others offered services such as doing her hair or cooking for her in exchange for surgeries.
Officials say it was a full-time job for Riggins to set up the fraudulent accounts.

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Smartphones can do a lot of useful things, do doubt about that. But apparently our phones can also tell their owners when they get smelly. 
The company Nivea, which is based in Germany, says it has created a new product. "NOSE" as it's called, is a mobile phone cover, that essentially works as a nose when you download the app it goes with. 
Together, the app and NOSE reportedly sense when your body odor reaches toxic levels. You just hold it up to your armpit, and the NOSE picks up a smell. It puts the information through an algorithm, and then sends you a notification about how bad you smell. 
Here's the catch though. Nivea says the program only works on men's BO. The company says it decided to focus on men, because the part of men's brains that sense odors, is actually smaller than women's.
Nivea plans to introduce the app next month. 

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A Brooklyn man was randomly punched at a Manhattan subway station by an attacker who said it was "because you look exactly like Shia LaBeouf," Gothamist reports.
Mario Licato told the website he had just gotten off a subway train Saturday afternoon at the Delancey Street-Essex Street subway station on the Lower East Side when he was clocked.
"I didn't even see the guy," he told Gothamist. "I just see his fist coming toward me. It knocked me, and while I was falling down the stairs, all I hear was, 'This is because you look exactly like Shia LaBeouf!'"
Licato, who told Gothamist he has been approached "at least 10 times" by people who said he resembles the actor, tumbled down the stairs and lost consciousness. He said a couple rushed to help him and called 911.  
EMTs ruled out a concussion and told him to get a butterfly bandage for his busted eyebrow, Licato told Gothamist. Police, who arrived a short time later, canvassed the area and asked questions.
Licato posted a photo of his injuries on Instagram, a bandage visible over his eyebrow and scuffs on his nose and brow.
"I wanna thank the guy who randomly decided he needed to hit me last night," he said in the post.
Licato told Gothamist he was back at work Monday but was still perplexed as to why someone would attack him for looking like LaBeouf.
"I wanna know what Shia LaBeouf did to him," Licato told Gothamist. "What did Shia LaBeouf do to him that he punched somebody that looks like him? He must have did something so mean."
The NYPD told People it is investigating the incident as an assault and no arrests had been made as of Tuesday afternoon.
NBC 4 New York has reached out to Licato and representatives of LaBeouf for comment.

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A man from Orlando, Florida is in the Indian River County Jail, after a strange crime spree. 
Police say 23-year-old Julian Gonzalez stole a county vehicle from the compound yard while drunk, and then drove to the Animal Control Office where he broke in. 
The manager of Animal Control noticed later in the day that dead animals that had been stored in a freezer had been removed from plastic bags, and placed on the floor. The fire extinguisher had also been tampered with. Deputies were able to test fingerprints and shoe marks in the white powder from the fire extinguisher, and arrested Gonzalez a short time later after a slow speed chase in the stolen vehicle. 

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Russian came up with a great way to test an explosive-proof suit -- having a woman walk through an active mine field while wearing it. 
Russia's Deputy Prime Minister released video of the whole thing. In it, the woman makes her way through a series of fiery explosions, with a noticeable bit of swagger, as her suit goes from white to black, charred from the flames.
Afterwards, she takes off her mask, tossing her long blonde hair in slow motion, Farrah Fawcett-style.
The PM bragged in a Facebook post, saying the Terminator has nothing on their sassy soldier.
And of course at the end of the video, the woman gets a bouquet of roses for her efforts. Which realistically should be customary when you try to blow someone up. 
 

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