Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, May 25th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, May 25th

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- A 6-month-old girl whose professional water-skier parents put her on junior-size water skis last week glided 686 feet across a man-made lake in what her parents say sets a youth record.
Keith St. Onge said in an interview Wednesday that his daughter Zyla could have kept going if the boat hadn't reached the end of the lake.
"We had to stop," St. Onge said. "Otherwise, she would have gone a lot longer."
The 30-inch, 20-pound Zyla, who doesn't yet walk, skied across Lake Silver in Winter Haven, Florida, last Thursday. A video of her skiing was posted on YouTube.
She stood on tiny water skis that were attached to each other by wood. She gripped a handle bar attached to the skis that looks like a walker someone with mobility problems might use. She wore a pink and purple life jacket as a boat pulled her at a speed of 7 miles per hour.
About a dozen adults treaded water on either side of Zyla's path, but the path in the lake ran out of adults as she glided farther away from the shore, at which point she grimaced and let out a few cries.
"If I would have known she was going much longer, we would have more people lined up," St. Onge said.
St. Onge pulled the boat's 30-foot line closer and slowed the boat down as Zyla got farther out. When she and the skis sank into the water, he jumped in and was with her in seconds, he said.
"She barely, barely got her head wet," St. Onge said.
USA Water Ski spokesman Scott Atkinson said the association doesn't keep track of youngest or oldest water skier records. It only tracks the youngest and oldest to ever compete in national championships.
"I am presuming this is something that the folks at Guinness World Records may track," Atkinson said in an email.
St. Onge said he had contacted Guinness officials, but they told him they don't record anything involving individuals under age 16.
Zyla's parent noticed that when she was able to stand, she had a strong grip on whoever's hand she was holding, so they thought she might be good at water skiing. They placed her in skis inside their house, pulled her across the carpet and saw that she loved it, St. Onge said. She also was used to the water from trips to pools and lakes.
St. Onge said he realizes some people might not think it's appropriate for someone so young to be water skiing, but he said safety measures were taken and it happened in the controlled environment of a private lake geared for water skiing.
"People don't realize that it was done properly," he said. "It was planned and she was ready for it."

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PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A public hearing on a proposed wild-animal entertainment ban that would keep circuses and similar shows out of the city ended up being a circus of sorts, complete with clowns who begged the City Council not to enact the measure.
Syria Shrine clowns held signs outside the City-County Building that said, "We love our animals," and "Councilman Kraus makes clowns cry!"
That referred to Democratic Councilman Bruce Kraus, whose bill was supported by animal rights activists at Tuesday's public hearing. Animal Defender International, based in Los Angeles, said more than 30 U.S. municipalities have similar laws.
Supporters of the bill contend that animals don't jump through fiery hoops because they enjoy it.
"They perform out of fear of what will happen to them if they don't," said Brian Bonsteel, founder of Humane Action Pittsburgh, an animal rights group that helped draft the legislation.
City Council President Darlene Harris said she'll vote against the bill and believes circus animals are motivated to perform by the good relationships they have with their trainers.
"I have never seen any animal do a trick for a person who abuses and beats them. Never," Harris said. "If I hit my dog, do you think she would sit up and roll over and dance for me?"
The bill is modeled on a similar San Francisco law that prohibits the performance of wild or exotic animals for public entertainment or amusement. Lions, tigers, bears, camels, elephants, monkeys and other animals would be banned from performing at circuses or similar shows.
The National Aviary, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and other educational and humane groups would be exempt from the ban, though the zoo's leader criticized the measure.
"None of the speakers in favor of this ordinance have any experience or expertise in actually working with wild exotic animals," said Dr. Barbara Baker, the zoo's president and CEO.
Officials with the Shrine Circus and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus spoke out against the measure, though the latter's shows recently stopped using trained elephants in response to the number of cities and counties that passed ordinances prohibiting the use of bull hooks or nixing wild animal acts altogether.
Erich Gumto, president of a local Shriners chapter, defended the traveling circus, which the group uses to fund 22 hospitals providing free care to children.
"How can we be so compassionate in one aspect and so evil in another?" Gumto said. "It does not make sense."
Kraus said he's gotten 9,000 emails from around the country, most of them supporting the measure he first proposed May 3.
Kraus said the bill will be vetted before it comes up for a vote.
Mayor Bill Peduto is waiting to see what happens to the bill before staking out a position, his spokesman said.

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ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) -- A suburban Detroit police officer stepped in after a pizza delivery driver was injured in a car crash to make sure a still-warm order made it to its destination.
Lincoln Park police Cpl. Joe Sparks tells The Detroit News that Monday's collision sent the Jet's Pizza driver to a hospital with bruises and a sore head. Sparks spotted an oven bag in the wrecked car before it was towed and realized the delivery address was nearby.
The 16-year veteran of the force says he "just figured it was the right thing to do" knowing that "someone on the other end was waiting for their food."
Carl Babik, who got the pizza, tells WDIV-TV he initially thought that he had done something wrong when Sparks showed up with the order.

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New Hanover County, NC - One North Carolina school system is considering a crackdown on skinny jeans at school.
Currently, students can wear skinny jeans, leggings and other tight fitting pants without any problems.
But the new Hanover County School Board is considering a change in policy after some "bigger" girls were targeted and bullied over wearing the tight fitting jeans.
Under the proposed guidelines, female and male students could wear skinny jeans or other tight fitting pants as long as the posterior is covered by a dress or long shirt or blouse.
The board is seeking student feedback before voting on the issue. Students call the proposal ridicules and point to bigger problems at school.
"Yes, lets focus on skinny jeans which aren't even an issue with real issues like the fact that it takes me 45 minutes every day to get out of the school parking lot," said one student, Macey Austin. "Or the fact that our school is 700 students over populated and the bathrooms are falling apart."
If approved, the new dress code will be in place next school year.

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Sussex Police in the UK have come up with an unusual way to convince wanted criminals to get back on the straight and narrow. 
Officers have started texting offenders who are on the run, asking them to turn themselves in. So far, police say the concept has been surprisingly effective. 
A recent national report shows more than 13,000 people may have arrest warrants across England. 
Police say out of the total 2,011 warrants they had in 2015, less than five per cent are still active. 

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LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) -- Officials at a county jail in Pennsylvania say they mistakenly kept an inmate locked up 17 months too long.
The Lancaster County commissioners tell LNP the inmate doesn't want to be identified. But they say the inmate was supposed to be released in November 2014, but wasn't released until last month.
The commissioners didn't immediately make clear when or how the error was discovered, but officials say they know how it happened.
Officials say new charges against another inmate with the same name were mistakenly duplicated and put in both inmates' files.
Warden Cheryl Steberger issued a statement saying officials wanted to publicly acknowledge the mistake and apologize.
The jail is making changes including reviewing the records of all inmates with the same last name.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Bella and Max are top dogs in New York City.
The city Health Department announced Wednesday that it registered 1,127 dogs named Bella and 1,073 named Max in 2015.
Bella has been the city's most popular dog name since 2008. That's when the last of Stephenie Meyer's vampire-themed "Twilight" novels featuring heroine Bella Swan was published.
But some dog owners took their inspiration from the pantry and the garden.
The Health Department says it licensed 27 dogs named Bean, 17 dogs named Raisin and 15 dogs named Potato last year.
A total of 605 licensed dogs answered to Daisy, the most popular flower name. There were also 10 Tulips, four Primroses and two Daffodils.
Names that were popular with certain breeds included Snoopy for beagles and Tyson for boxers.

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Des Moines, IA - Could this be the next diet craze? Or is it just crazy?
One man in Des Moines, Iowa is trying a 30-day diet, only eating gas station food. 
Frank Beard is experimenting with healthy options at gas stations to prove you can be healthy on the road.
While traveling for work, the health-conscious dieter is sharing his path to weightloss on social media.
Beard is chronicling his food choices on his blog and Instagram.
So far, he's been successful. Now about half way through his diet, he's already lost three pounds.
"Gas stations can be really difficult, in fact. It's easy around here, but some states just don't have any good gas stations," Beard said. "So, I thought, 'That's what I'll do, for 30 days. I'll eat food only from gas stations, and I'll track everything on MyFitnessPal to show that I'm still healthy."

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Tokyo, Japan - "Cute," "or Kawaii," is a key concept in Japanese pop culture. Authorities in Mie Prefecture kept this in mind when selecting a mascot to publicize their corner of world ahead of the G7 Summit.
An event taking place at this hotel features a dog as the guest of honor. He looks a bit nervous as he's meeting the governor.
The dog Governor Suzuki is counting on, is a Shiba Inu famous around the world, "Maru".
Ambassador Maru took to the stage and hammed it up for the cameras. He had his selfie face down pat.
The 8-year-old dog is used to the spotlight. He has 2.4 million followers on Instagram from 100 different countries.
The pup became Mie's Ambassador of Tourism last November in preparation for May's G7 Summit. Officials hoped Maru could share the prefecture's most enticing qualities with the world. 
The ambassador's first gig was an event in Tokyo promoting Mie Prefecture.
Vendors pushed ise udon noodles and the local venison dishes, and Hidekazu Oguchi, the mayor of Shima, carved a whole tuna.
Maru made an appearance dressed as a ninja, in part to promote the Ninja Museum in Iga.
Group photos with Governor Suzuki brought the event to a close.
But Maru's job didn't end there. His owner posts photos on social media so he can keep working it for his fans. 
Comments poured in from around the globe. "He's the fluffiest ninja in the world!" "The ninja outfit is so cute, Maru looks great in red!"
Officials hope some of Maru's many fans will visit Mie Prefecture and boost tourism revenue. 

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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Chile has broken the world record for the most participants in a soccer match.
The mark was achieved Sunday night after a match that featured 2,357 people who took turns to keep the ball rolling during more than 120 hours. The score? A close 505-504.
The record was recorded by Guinness World Record adjudicator Evelyn Carrera.
The feat took place at Bicentenary stadium in La Florida, a neighborhood in the Chilean capital.
Most players were amateurs, but professionals also joined the end of the game.
Goalkeeper Gabriel Castellon of the Chilean first division Wanderers club said he was elated to be part of a world record for Chile.

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