Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, May 17th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, May 17th

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FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) -- A Massachusetts trooper is getting kudos on social media for sharing a meal with a panhandler who was holding a sign asking for help.
State police posted the photo of Trooper Luke Bonin on its Facebook page Tuesday.
Police say a passer-by snapped the photo after noticing Bonin dressed in a suit and perched on the tailgate of his cruiser, digging into a fast-food meal with the panhandler.
Swansea resident Jake Morse told The Herald News he took the photo May 11 and shared it on Facebook.
The 35-year-old Bonin later told his colleagues he saw the woman asking for help, so he drove to a nearby restaurant, ordered two meals and returned to have lunch with her.
State police say they're proud of Bonin for "doing the right thing."

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BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) - News reports say a 23-year-old woman was bitten by a small nurse shark in Boca Raton.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported the woman was taken to the hospital by ambulance Sunday with the shark still attached to her arm.
A spokesperson for the Boca Raton Ocean Rescue told the newspaper the woman remained calm and there was a little blood. A splint board was used to support the woman's arm and the shark as she lay on the stretcher.
The Boca Raton Regional Hospital operator told the AP that the woman had been treated and was in the process of being released Sunday afternoon.

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) - A python that slithered away after show-and-tell at a school in South Carolina has been found.
Media outlets report that a student brought the ball python to Laing Middle School in Mount Pleasant to show during science class on Friday. Later in the day, it was discovered the snake had made a break from the plastic foam container in which it was kept.
School officials called a wildlife removal company. More than five hours later, the python was finally found lodged in a gap behind a cabinet.
School officials did not say how long the python was but sent a message to concerned parents saying the snake was not poisonous and there was no danger to students.
The subject line of the message was "Happy Friday the 13th."

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- A Rutgers University student's grandmother who helped the university nab President Barack Obama as its commencement speaker said she hasn't stopped smiling about that special day.
Dianne Totten told Nj.com she sent three messages to the White House, urging Obama to speak at Rutgers' graduation last Sunday.
"It was really very short, very direct," Totten said of her notes. "I felt that it really can't hurt to try."
Totten, a 70-year-old Highlands resident, is the grandmother of outgoing Rutgers student government president Matthew Panconi, who also spoke at the event. She noted her grandson's role at Rutgers and wrote that it's one of the oldest universities in the country and its graduates should hear the president tell them what America's about.
Obama, a Democrat, said during the ceremony it was smart for Totten to send the messages because he has a "soft spot for grandmas."
"I even got three notes from the grandmother of your student body president," Obama said during his commencement speech. "I have to say that really sealed the deal."

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DENVER (AP) -- A baby sitter is accused of using two children she was watching to help her rob a bank - a heist allegedly planned to help her pay back money stolen from her employers.
Rachel Einspahr, 28, went to the drive through at the Colorado East Bank & Trust in Severance - about 65 miles north of Denver - on Friday after picking two sisters after school, according to the Weld County Sheriff's Office.
She allegedly sent a note through the vacuum tube demanding money for a man in the back of her Nissan Pathfinder threatening to hurt the girls, who are 7 and 1½ years old. The teller, believing the children were in danger, gave her $500, sheriff's spokesman Matt Turner said.
The girls were not hurt, and one told investigators there never was a man in the vehicle with them.
According to an arrest affidavit, first reported by the Greeley Tribune Tuesday, Einspahr allegedly told investigators she wanted to rob the bank to pay back $15,000 of the money she previously stole under a possible plea agreement. Court documents don't list who is representing her in the bank robbery case, but lawyers who have represented her in the previous cases didn't return calls seeking comment.
According to the document, Einspahr, who is in jail, told detectives she first considered robbing a bank in larger nearby Greeley but then went back to Severance to pick up the children. She said she drove around for a while, bought the girls lollipops at a gas station and then removed her license plates and wrote a note for the teller on a side street before going ahead with the alleged robbery at a bank about a half mile from her home, the document said. After the robbery, investigators said she took the children to a park to play so she could put the plates back on.
Deputies, using surveillance video from the bank, found Einspahr's SUV parked in front of her house and arrested her.
She is scheduled to appear in court in the theft cases on Wednesday, when prosecutors are also expected to file charges against her in the bank robbery.

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A candidate running for Virginia's 8th Congressional district shared a little too much information when he posted a screen shot of his web browser on his campaign's Facebook page Monday. 
Mike Webb, a Republican, was trying to show Yahoo search results, but the screen shot also captured browser tabs featuring pornography websites.
In a second post that also included the now-infamous screenshot, Webb explained that he was testing the pornography sites for viruses, ARLNow reports. Last month, Webb claimed a cyberattack kept him from filing his campaign finance report on time, according to ARLNow.
In a second post that also featured the infamous screenshot, Webb explained that he was testing the pornography sites for viruses, ARLNow reports. 
Both posts were later deleted and replaced with a "thank you" post. 
"I was very much moved by the love and support of those who expressed their encouragement and support, even some in the national and local press," Webb said. 
He also noted that the post helped his Facebook page "likes" grow 25 percent in one day.

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A SeaWorld supervisor facing "uncontrollable debt" has been charged with stealing as much as $116,000 from the company's Aquatica water park in Orlando.
Lisa Olivardia had worked for SeaWorld for almost 30 years. Now she's free on $105,000 bond after her arrest Saturday on charges of grand theft and scheme to defraud.
An Orange County Sheriff's investigation found that Olivardia voided ticket sales and pocketed the money while working in the guest relations department. She also took money from the cash drawers of other employees while they were on breaks, according to the sheriff's affidavit.
Olivardia, 50, was caught last November and fired after a company investigator saw her making the voids on surveillance video, the affidavit said.
Between 2013 and 2015 alone, she voided between $55,000 and $75,000 worth of tickets each year, about triple the rate of her co-workers, and would hide the cash in white envelopes in her pockets, the affidavit said.
SeaWorld said it employs "extensive security measures" to identify theft or fraud. "The safety of our guests and ambassadors and the well-being of our animals are our highest priority," a company statement said.
Olivardia didn't respond to a voicemail message, and court records showed no lawyer representing her.
According to the affidavit, Olivardia told detectives that she committed the crimes.
"'I did it all," she told investigators, adding that she was surprised she wasn't caught sooner, according to the affidavit.
"She repeatedly explained that she had uncontrollable debt and that she was very willing to make restitution for the thefts," the affidavit said.

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ATLANTA (AP) -- A south Alabama police chief says he has a few leads but still no answers to explain how a box of human ashes was abandoned, along with a neatly folded, framed American flag, beside a highway near the Florida line.
A power line crew found the small pine box with a rusted lock in grass along the road about four weeks ago. News of the find was published last week.
At least four people have inquired about the box, including a Tennessee man who said his father's remains and a flag were stolen from his truck a few months ago, Florala Police Chief Sonny Bedsole said in a phone interview Tuesday.
Bedsole said he emailed photos of the box and flag - folded military-style - to those who inquired and is waiting to hear back. The flag is displayed in a framed case, much like a shadow box.
"We took it out of the case to see if there was a name or business card or anything to go by, and of course there was nothing in it," the chief said.
Florala, a town of about 2,000 people, is just north of the Alabama-Florida line.
The remains were found not far from U.S. 331, a popular route for motorists heading to and from the Florida Panhandle, Bedsole said. That means whoever left the items might be from out of state.
"We get a lot of traffic headed to the beach that comes through here," Bedsole said.
One theory is that the remains belong to a military veteran, since the flag was found nearby and it was folded in the customary way for servicemen and women.
"Somebody somewhere knows this box that contains these ashes, what it looks like," Bedsole said.

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DENVER, N.C. (AP) -- A poisonous snake in a tree has bitten a customer at a home improvement store in North Carolina.
A spokeswoman for Lowe's Companies Inc. said in an email Tuesday that a customer was bitten in the outdoor lawn and garden center Monday at a store northwest of Charlotte.
The East Lincoln Fire Department had said in a Facebook post that the copperhead bit an employee.
The customer's name and condition were not available.
Lowe's spokeswoman Karen Cobb said employees called 911 and searched for other snakes. Cobb said no others were found but a pest control company has been called to check.
She says the company doesn't know how the snake got into the garden center.

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ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) -- Police say four central Pennsylvania volunteer firefighters called in five false alarms earlier this year because they enjoyed the thrill of riding in fire trucks.
The Logan Township Volunteer Fire Department has suspended the men and police have charged them with making the false alarms.
Online court records don't list attorneys for the men.
Police believe the men are responsible only for the five alarms, but they say even one is too many.
The suspects were all probationary members with fewer than 90 days of service with the fire department.
They face a preliminary hearing May 26.
The Associated Press is not listing their names because online court records were incomplete Tuesday.

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