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

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, May 19th

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ATLANTA (AP) -- To some, the metal tower supporting a giant peach atop an Atlanta building was about as popular as a freeway-snarling ice storm.
It was so unpopular that when it was removed recently, employees at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers building celebrated by drinking champagne.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the peach was erected in 1994, shortly before Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympic Games.
Max Mount Jr., the local IBEW president, tells WABE Radio that employees hated the ugly peach.
Mount said the peach tower belonged to an ad agency, which leased the space. He said that when that lease expired recently, the IBEW wasted no time in plucking it from its perch.
Mount tells WSB-TV that IBEW employees even celebrated its removal by drinking champagne.

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CARROLL, Iowa (AP) -- Carrie Sapp teased her husband, Brad, about being afraid of ghosts when he said he heard someone whisper "get out of here" while he was sorting cans at his Iowa recycling business. Of course it wasn't a ghost. It was a naked man in the chimney.
Sapp said she was working the next morning at the Carroll Redemption Center when she heard a man yell for help from the chimney. She told the Daily Times Herald that the man explained, "I was playing hide-and-seek with my cousin. ... Don't call the cops!"
The police were called, as was the fire department, which eventually managed to free the soot-covered, naked man.
Firefighters initially planned to use a rope to pull Jordan Kajewski from the chimney, but eventually opted to hammer a hole in it and pulled him out.
Though naked, the 29-year-old Kajewski had his clothes with him.
"This was definitely a first for the Carroll Fire Department," Fire Chief Greg Schreck said.
Brad Sapp said he knew Kajewski because he'd asked three times in recent weeks for a job at the company in Carroll, which is about 75 miles northwest of Des Moines.
Kajewski was charged with trespassing. Court records didn't list an attorney for him.

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- The Burmese python might have to step aside: It's possible the animal is no longer Florida's scariest invasive species. Researchers have confirmed that three Nile crocodiles were captured near Miami, and they more of the man-eating reptiles could still be out there, although no one can say for sure.
The University of Florida researchers' paper says it's likely the crocs were brought to Florida illegally. They could be bad news for the Everglades ecosystem.
The paper shows that DNA samples proved the animals captured in 2009, 2011 and 2014 are Nile crocs. The species is responsible for about 200 deaths annually in sub-Saharan Africa.
University herpetologist Kenneth Krysko said more Nile crocs may live in the Everglades. He says the captured trio were most likely brought to Florida by an unlicensed collector who let them escape or released them.

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NEWBORN, Ga. (AP) -- Not so long ago (Sunday, to be exact) in a small town far, far to the east of Atlanta (actually about 50 miles), a man spent the night in jail for dressing like a Star Wars storm trooper.
The charges: wearing a mask and reckless conduct. WMAZ-TV reports (on.wmaz.com/1TpwkHU) that Justin Marling's full armor and plastic gun created concern as he walked down a road in Newborn, population 700.
The Jasper County sheriff's report says deputies thought Marling's weapon could be real.
Marling says he was only trying to raise awareness for a charitable cause: Star Wars Force for Change, which aims to inspire people to have a positive impact.
Wearing a mask in public is illegal under Georgia law, with some exceptions, such as holidays and special events.

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PALM BAY, Fla. (AP) -- Police officers responding to a burglary call at a property management office in central Florida found an unlikely culprit - a raccoon hiding behind a potted plant.
A concerned worker called 911 Wednesday morning after finding several ceiling tiles on the floor and papers strewn about the All Florida Properties office in Palm Bay.
Lt. Mike Bandish tells Florida Today officers arrived at the office and began going room to room to find out why the office was in such disarray.
That's when they found the raccoon. They captured it with a catch pole and led it out of the office and into a wooded area behind the building.
Brevard County Animal Service workers searched the attic to see if more raccoons were in the building.

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PARIS (AP) -- Four lucky competition winners are set to be the first people in history to use the Eiffel Tower as a vacation home next month.
Rental company HomeAway is taking over part of the first floor of the iconic 300-meter (yard) landmark for the duration of the UEFA Euro 2016 soccer tournament in Paris, and transforming it into Hausmannian-style living quarters.
The competition opens Thursday for the chance to stay in the famous monument, which provides panoramic views onto the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacre Coeur and the Seine river.
Brian Sharples, HomeAway CEO, called the move "unprecedented" and said it was "guaranteed to provide the most epic vacation memories of a lifetime."

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MADRID (AP) - A Spanish man accused of lying during an emergency call to get authorities to his house quickly faces a fine of up to 600,000 euros ($672,000).
A police official in the northeastern town of Catalayud on Thursday confirmed Spanish media reports that the man said his two daughters were locked inside a car. Actually, the official says that the man's two cats were locked inside his house.
The Heraldo de Aragon newspaper said a complaint was filed against the unidentified man after he admitted inventing the story Monday for a quicker response time.
False calls leading to emergency services deployment in Aragon region carry fines of 150,000 euros to 600,000 euros.
The police official spoke anonymously because of department rules.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - If this keeps up, Philadelphians might want to consider renaming their football team.
The city's Department of Licenses and Inspections was set to demolish a long-vacant home that residents say has become home to a committee of turkey vultures. Yes, a group of the birds - sometimes also called buzzards - is known as a "committee."
Christina Ali-Bey says she lives next door to the home and can hear the vultures scratching and walking around all night long, "like a horror movie."
She's even afraid the birds will scoop up her tiny dog, Rocco, a teacup Yorkie. Other residents see the birds regularly picking through their trash.
The birds are a protected species, so it's illegal to harm or kill them.
Residents hope Thursday's demolition forces the birds to relocate.

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man is accused of impersonating a U.S. senator to avoid paying off his home loan.
The U.S. attorney's office in Tampa reports that a grand jury indicted 67-year-old Sidney Hines this week on five counts of impersonating a federal officer or employee. He faces up to 15 years in prison.
Court papers say Hines secured a HomeSaver Advance loan of $5,864 for his New Port Richey home in October 2008. Hines reportedly failed to make the payments.
Officials say Hines called a collection agency five times between March 2013 and December 2014. He claimed to be a U.S. senator from Illinois identified in the indictment as "R.D." and said Hines' HSA loan had been paid in full.
Illinois' senators during that time period were Richard "Dick" Durbin and Mark Kirk.

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Kingsley, MI - Students in a rural Michigan town skipped the bus and jumped on their tractors to get to school today.
The annual 'Tractor Day' started back in 2003 as an act of unity for students because there was no room for them to park their cars in the school parking lot.
Now, students participate as a way to celebrate farming culture.
Some students ride their tractors just to experience the tradition first hand. 
"I drive a little Toyota Corolla and this is my dad's tractor and I took the sidewalk for half of the way here just because I was really nervous," said Jupiter Parks, a senior. "But once I got closer to school I went on the road and was kind of holding up traffic but it was awesome it was a great experience."
Fourteen tractors - both big and small - made the journey to and from Kingsley High School. 

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