Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, May 3rd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, May 3rd

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BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- It took a village and two hours to corral an uncooperative llama named Ethel who escaped from her pasture in rural Colorado and wandered near some busy roadways.
The Boulder County Sheriff's Office tweeted a wanted poster with a photo of the wayward animal and the hashtag #LlamaOnTheLoose. It's an amended version of the one made famous by a pair of Ethel's elusive brethren, whose romp through a Phoenix-area neighborhood stole the national spotlight last year.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Carrie Haverfield says Ethel's owner called Tuesday asking for help to get the llama home after she wandered into another pasture. An animal control officer and a deputy tried to wrangle Ethel, but she proved difficult to capture and more help had to be called in.
At one point, passers-by formed a human fence. She was ultimately herded back into her pasture.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The fate of a tall, slender pine tree that a San Francisco property owner wants to cut down but that neighbors are rallying to save is now in the hands of city leaders.
The Board of Supervisors will decide Tuesday whether to grant landmark status to a Norfolk pine hybrid that stands in the backyard of a small parcel of private property. The tree's age is in dispute, with proponents saying it was planted more than a century ago and others saying it dates to the 1940s.
The tree, which is estimated to be 85 feet to 100 feet tall, is not rare in California but not abundant in San Francisco, according to one tree expert.
Neighbors and others have been trying to save the tree for a year, saying the pine is an important part of the street's landscape. A biology professor submitted testimony that the tall tree probably provides a resting spot for raptors and other birds making their way to Golden Gate Park.
The saga began last year when Dale Rogers, who bought the house in 2012, cut down three trees in his backyard - two palms and one of two pines - as part of a plan to redevelop his property.
Afraid that the owner would cut down the remaining pine, a couple living in the house in the backyard and another couple living nearby got a restraining order to stop its removal and began the process to get the tree landmarked, over the owner's objections.
The Urban Forestry Council, which recommends landmark status to city leaders, declined to nominate the tree on a tied vote in October. But in March, the council granted landmark status after substantial public testimony.
"I was very moved by the community concern for the tree," vice-chairwoman Carla Short said. "It's a very striking tree; you can see it from lots of different places in the neighborhood."
Eighteen trees or groves of trees have landmark status in San Francisco, prized for their rarity or historic significance. Six are on private property, often in back or side yards.
They include an impressive Moreton Bay fig tree in the city's Mission District and a coast live oak in residential Noe Valley. A giant sequoia near the Castro District received landmark status over the owner's objections, Short said.
Attorney Barri Bonapart, who represents the homeowner, said the tree is an ordinary pine that poses problems for the home's infrastructure. Granting it landmark status would be a severe infringement on private property rights, she said.
"There is no question the ordinance has been misused and misapplied," Bonapart said. "This is the wrong tree in the wrong place."
But Vanessa Ruotolo, a musician and neighbor who has been leading the landmark charge with her husband, said the tree and its visiting songbirds are what give the neighborhood its beauty and music.
"We're thankful that the tree was given its due process," she said.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A man who calls himself "Philly Jesus" has a new cross to bear: He was arrested at a Philadelphia Apple store on a trespassing charge.
Philly Jesus' real name is Michael Grant. He dresses like Jesus, carries a large cross, preaches on sidewalks and poses for photos. He also performs baptisms in city fountains.
Police say the Apple store's manager told them Grant refused to leave Monday night despite being asked multiple times. They say his cross was blocking an aisle. He was handcuffed and arrested.
According to online court documents, Grant was charged with defiant trespassing and disorderly conduct. No lawyer information was listed. He was released after an arraignment early Tuesday.
Grant tweeted Tuesday that he was "free at last."

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MIDDLESEX, Vt. (AP) -- State game officials have backed down and allowed a woman to keep a 3-year-old wood duck that was brought home by one of her dogs when it was a chick.
Earlier this year, a game warden arrived at Kimberlee Stevens' home in Middlesex to take the duck named Peep. When Stevens refused to hand the animal over, the warden promised to return with a search warrant. On Friday, the state Fish and Wildlife Department relented and issued a permit allowing the family to keep the bird.
Stevens said one of her dogs brought home the chick in late May 2013. They looked for a nest and its mother, but couldn't find any hint of where it came from.
"It was like he was just dropped from the sky," she said Monday. "It was really strange."
Now, Peep lives inside Stevens' farmhouse, roams the house alongside her five dogs and seven cats, sleeps next to her bed and has its own Facebook page. In good weather, it goes outside.
"He takes a little flight every now and then, but it's just around the house and back," Stevens said. "He's like, 'I'm not going nowhere.'"
Despite its role as a family pet, Peep is not house-trained.
"He poops all over. I just keep my bucket full of bleach water, we just go behind him," she said.
Vermont Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter said Monday that private citizens aren't allowed to keep wildlife as pets, because it can be dangerous for both people and critters.
"It's a very, very bad idea for people to take any wild animal out of the wild even if they think they're helping," Porter said.
If state officials had taken Peep, the duck would have been taken to a licensed animal rehabilitator.
"In this particular case it seems as though the damage by leaving this particular duck in place would be less than through issuing this permit," he said.

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LEWISTON, Maine (AP) -- The Maine governor who holds the state record for vetoes has named his new dog Veto.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage has earned renown for exercising his veto pen on bills he didn't like. He has vetoed hundreds of bills.
He adopted the Jack Russell terrier from the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society. His family's previous dog was an 11-year-old Jack Russell named Baxter that died in March.
The new dog is a rescue from Louisiana. The governor's office announced Tuesday he and first lady Ann LePage "are very excited to welcome their newest addition to the family."
Last month LePage vetoed a bill to allow people to buy a lifesaving drug overdose antidote without a prescription. He said it would've created a sense of normalcy around heroin use.

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EDGELEY, N.D. (AP) -- A retiree in a tiny community in North Dakota has paid tribute to Prince in perhaps the most unique way a farmer can.
Gene Hanson is a retired farmer in Edgeley who always liked the song "Purple Rain." On Friday, he hopped on his tractor and plowed on a football field-size version of the late musician's symbol into his corn field.
The 75-year-old says he found an image of the symbol on the Internet. He put it on his tractor's dash and followed the pattern. When done, he got on his airplane to check it out. He couldn't believe that it had turned out so well.
The tribute is only temporary. Hanson says the field was seeded Monday.
Prince died April 21 in suburban Minneapolis at age 57.

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MESA, Ariz. (AP) - An Arizona high school student is facing a felony charge after police say he exposed himself in a football team picture that ended up in the school yearbook.
Mesa police say 19-year-old Hunter Osborn was arrested after they were alerted to the picture over the weekend. A police document says the Red Mountain High School team photo shows Osborn exposing his penis through the top of his waistband.
Police say Osborn admitted to the prank and told them he did it on a dare. He added that he was disgusted by his actions. Osborn was booked on a felony count of furnishing harmful items to minors and on 69 misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure.
The school district says the yearbook has been recalled and the photo will be edited.

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Police in New Jersey's capital city say a man told them he broke into a business because he wanted to see his brother in jail.
The robbery in Trenton was discovered around 4:20 a.m. Saturday. Authorities say the business' glass front door had been smashed.
Officers say they found 24-year-old Jose Ixcolin about a block away, holding a computer monitor taken in the burglary.
Police say Ixcolin told officers he wanted to get arrested so he could see his brother. It wasn't immediately clear why his brother was in jail or if Ixcolin had been able to speak with him following his arrest.
Ixcolin now faces burglary and theft charges. It wasn't known Monday if he has retained an attorney.

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The San Jose Sharks got an unexpected visit Friday.
Before the NHL team beat the Nashville Predators 5-2 at the SAP Center, a black cat crept out of the player bench area and scurried onto the ice.
As the Sharks warmed up for the first game of their best-of-seven playoff series, fans watched the small feline making a beeline for an oversized, fiberglass shark head, only to escape under the seats at "the Shark Tank," as the arena is known.
The venue's staff was able to safely rescue the cat and dubbed it Joe Paw-velski, after Sharks captain Joe Pavelski, the team announced Sunday.
"The amount of interest generated by Joe's appearance and those wishing to adopt him has been overwhelming," said Sharks Chief Operating Officer John Tortora in a statement.
Joe has been taken to a local animal shelter to undergo a health examination, the team said. Staff will also investigate whether the cat has a microchip, in the hopes of reuniting it with its owner.
"If he is indeed a stray, our goal is to find the best home for him with the support of our local animal shelters," Tortora said. "If families are interested in adopting Joe but unsuccessful, we strongly encourage you to consider adopting another animal in need of a good home from one of our terrific local animal shelters."

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(AP) A federal lawsuit claims Starbucks regularly overfills its cold drinks with ice instead of using the advertised amount of coffee or other liquid in its plastic cups.
The lawsuit was filed last week in Chicago on behalf of Stacy Pincus, a local woman who accuses Starbucks of misleading consumers. The lawsuit alleges that an iced beverage advertised at 24 ounces contains about 14 ounces of fluid, and that ice isn't a fluid or beverage.
"A Starbucks customer who orders and pays for a cold drink receives much less than advertised - often nearly half as many fluid ounces," the lawsuit states, adding that the practice is "by design and corporate practice and procedure."
Starbucks said the lawsuit is without merit.
"Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any 'iced' beverage," Starbucks spokesperson Jaime Riley said Monday. "If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it."
However, attorney Andrew Stoltmann said that there is some merit to this lawsuit, and the trial will reveal the truth.
"We have consumer fraud protection laws for a reason," he told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Monday. "If indeed Starbucks is doing this, there's at least a prima facie case that something might be amiss."
Prima facie refers to a lawsuit in which the evidence before trial is sufficient to prove the case unless there is potential contradictory evidence presented at trial.
The lawsuit seeks class-action status, which could allow it to cover customers for the last decade. Among other things, the lawsuit seeks damages, restitution and attorneys' fees.

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