Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, June 1st - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, June 1st

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ORWIGSBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A couple who helped steal more than $175,000 from a grocery store where they worked used that money to buy a winning $1 million lottery ticket from the same store, state police said.
Joan Lechleitner, 51, and her fiance, Kerry Titus, 54, both of Pottsville, were charged Tuesday along with two other former employees with stealing from the Agway store in Cressona. They rang up bogus returns and pocketed the money from May 2011 until March 2016, police said in a criminal complaint.
And some of the stolen money was used to buy lottery tickets, including the Cash 5 ticket worth more than $1 million on Sept. 11.
Four winners split the prize of $1,047,618, with Lechleitner winning $261,904.50, state lottery officials said.
Lechleitner had previously told the (Pottsville) Republican Herald that Titus bought the ticket. She told the newspaper that they used the money to buy a 2015 Chevy Silverado pickup and planned to honeymoon in Mexico and build a backyard pool.
Online court records list James Conville as the defense attorney for Lechleitner and Titus, who was the store's manager. Conville didn't immediately return a call Wednesday seeking comment on the theft, conspiracy and records tampering charges they face. A preliminary hearing has been set for July 5.
The store's owner installed hidden cameras in January that showed the suspects stealing the money and buying lottery tickets, police said. A forensic audit and statements from the defendants helped police determine the amount stolen.
The store's owner, Ronald Yordy, told police he had to borrow money to keep the store afloat because of the thefts.

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BOSTON (AP) -- A burlesque dancer says JetBlue employees at Boston's Logan International Airport forced her to change clothes before she was allowed to board a connecting flight to Seattle.
The 26-year-old dancer uses the stage name Maggie McMuffin. She tells The Boston Globe she was waiting for her flight May 18 when a JetBlue employee requested that she change out of her high-waisted shorts or risk not being admitted onto the plane.
McMuffin says her black-and-white short shorts "covered everything" and her body was "90 percent" covered, given that she was also wearing thigh-high socks and a sweater.
JetBlue spokesman Doug McGraw says airline employees discussed McMuffin's clothing and determined it might offend families on the flight.
McMuffin complied but called it embarrassing and vowed to never fly JetBlue again.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A South Carolina grandfather is apologizing for picking up the wrong boy from an elementary school.
According to WIS-TV, an incident report in Orangeburg County says Joseph Fuller showed up at Edisto Primary School on May 19 and spotted a boy who he believed was his grandson. The report says the grandfather approached the boy and gave him a hug. When Fuller asked the boy if he was ready to go, the boy said yes.
The report says a teacher's assistant told sheriff's deputies that she asked the boy if the man was his grandfather, and the boy said yes.
It wasn't until after Fuller brought him home that the mistake was realized and he returned the boy to the school. He says he's very sorry.

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- Stuart Cleary set out in late 2014 to paddle solo from Australia to New Zealand. But in the end, it was his homemade kayak that completed the 2,000-kilometer (1,200-mile) journey on its own.
Just hours into the trip, Cleary ran into equipment problems. Later, his kayak started taking on water, and he was forced to abandon the vessel before being rescued at sea. Eighteen months later, the kayak has washed up on a New Zealand beach close to where Cleary had intended to make landfall.
Nathan Marshall said he was taking his dogs for a run on Muriwai Beach near Auckland on Wednesday morning when he found the barnacle-encrusted kayak. He approached it cautiously.
"I thought there was going to be a body," he said by phone.
Instead, he found a vessel that was stained and battered but remarkably intact considering its odyssey. Inside the cabin were remnants of the failed voyage: rusted cans of food, a radio, a waterlogged first-aid kit.
Marshall posted a message seeking information about the vessel on a community Facebook page and within a few hours was talking to Cleary in Australia.
"It's just incredible, just unbelievable," Cleary told The Associated Press by phone from his Gold Coast home. "It seems like the kayak had a mind of its own. If only I'd known that it knew the way."
Cleary, 54, a former oil-field diver, had spent four years training and preparing for his voyage.
He designed and built the 6-meter (20-foot) kayak, using a wooden mold that he covered in high-grade foam and layered with fiberglass. He included a cabin that was just long enough for him to sleep in.
Cleary initially had wanted to circumnavigate the Tasman Sea, but changed his plans due to the weather. And nobody had ever completed a solo, unassisted kayak crossing from Australia to New Zealand.
He left in December 2014 from the town of Ballina in New South Wales with food to last 70 days, hoping to reach land within a month.
But 12 hours later, Cleary's GPS device started failing. Then it was his steering rudder. He turned back to the Australian coast, only to get hit by heavy seas. At one point, he opened the hatch and a wave crashed in.
"Everything went pear-shaped," he said.
When rescuers arrived, the waves were too large for them to tow or retrieve the kayak, so they abandoned it. Cleary said he figured it would wash up in Australia or circle about and sink in the notoriously rough Tasman Sea.
"There are storms and wind and waves," he said. "There's a collision of weather systems - it turns into a massive cacophony of weather directions."
Six months after the rescue, Cleary tossed out the trolley he'd used for transporting the kayak, giving up hope that he'd ever see it again.
But on Wednesday, the kayak was found washed ashore just 25 kilometers (16 miles) from the entrance to Auckland's Manukau Harbour, where Cleary was initially headed.
"I think it's pretty crazy that it turns up right next to where there is beach access instead of smashing on the rocks," said Marshall, a builder, who hauled the kayak to his farm with the help of some rangers.
Cleary said he plans to visit the farm later this week, although this time he'll be traveling to New Zealand by plane. He said the kayak will likely need to be thrown away, but first he wants to see if there's anything he can learn from the damage it sustained.
That's because he's considering making a second crossing attempt.
"It feels like unfinished business," Cleary said. "Particularly now that the bloody kayak beat me there."

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ELLETTSVILLE, Ind. (AP) -- Police say six Indiana churchgoers who were hospitalized after eating cookies given to them by a fellow congregant after Mass later tested positive for THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana.
Police are sending a cookie for analysis from the batch distributed May 22 at St. John the Apostle Church in Ellettsville, 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis.
Ellettsville Deputy Chief Tony Bowlen tells The (Bloomington) Herald-Times that the cookies were the only common factor among those who fell ill, and that the urine of all those affected tested positive for cannabinoids.
Bowlen says no definitive link has been made between the cookies and their symptoms, which included high blood pressure, anxiety, lethargy and paranoia.
The cookie-eaters range in age from 12 to 70.

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CHICAGO (AP) -- A blind Louisiana man is suing McDonald's for the right to get served at the chain's drive-thru windows.
The Chicago Tribune reports the lawsuit filed in Chicago federal court on behalf of Scott Magee claims McDonald's is violating the American with Disabilities Act by refusing to serve customers at its drive thru windows who aren't in a vehicle.
Many McDonald's locations only serve customers at the drive-thru window during late night hours. Magee's lawyer, Roberto Costales, tells the Tribune that getting a late night snack at McDonald's is "a quintessentially American activity that should not be denied to someone because of their disability."
The Oak Brook, Illinois, company tells The Associated Press it doesn't comment on pending litigation.

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WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) -- Residents of two densely populated Boston suburbs caught sight of something Wednesday morning that's typically confined to the more rural parts of the state - a moose on the loose.
Police in Watertown and neighboring Belmont posted video on their Facebook pages of the female moose estimated to be 1½ to 2 years old trotting along sidewalks and streets at around 6 a.m.
There are an estimated 1,200 moose in the state, but they live mostly outside the Interstate 495 corridor, said Marion Larson, chief of information and education at the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Moose sightings are unusual in eastern Massachusetts. This one was likely lost and a tad confused, she said.
"This was probably a case of a younger moose trying to find its way and not really knowing where it's going," she said. Young moose seeking new territory tend to move at night and this one probably didn't realize it was so close to civilization until dawn.
The moose created a stir for those lucky enough to see it.
"It was pretty neat," Watertown resident Christine Makarewicz told WBZ-TV.
Belmont Assistant Police Chief James MacIsaac told The Boston Globe he has seen plenty of deer in his 17 years on the force but never a moose.
The moose was last seen in a wooded conservation area in Belmont, where it was being monitored by state environmental police. The hope is that the animal will leave the area on its own, Larson said. If the moose lingers, state officials will try to scare it away, or even immobilize it and move it.
The last resort would be to shoot the moose if it poses "an immediate public safety threat," Larson said.
There were no reports of moose-related damage in either town.

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PERRYSBURG, Ohio (AP) -- Authorities in Ohio say a load of nails spilled on a roadway during rush hour, leaving about a dozen commuters with flat tires.
State troopers say one lane of traffic on Interstate 475 just south of Toledo was closed for over an hour Wednesday morning to clean up the spill.
Troopers estimate that there were about 200 nails scattered across the roadway.
The spill happened at around 7 a.m. between Perrysburg and Maumee (maw-MEE'). No one was hurt.

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MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- A man is accused of robbing a New Hampshire convenience store while armed with a sharp rock, then returning hours later to give back the money.
Police say 46-year-old Carlos Reyes, of Manchester, was charged with robbery and was arraigned Wednesday. His bail was set at $5,000 cash and his case was assigned to the public defender's office.
Officers responded to a Shop-N-Go just after noon Tuesday. Witness Saoul Haney tells WMUR-TV that the robber apologized for the theft as he fled the scene and said he needed the money.
The clerk called police hours later and said the man had arrived to "turn himself in" and began crying.
Reyes was arrested after police reviewed surveillance photos.

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A Cleveland Cavaliers fan seems to be just about as dedicated as you can get. 
Halfway through the Western Conference Finals, he said he would eat his shirt if the Golden State Warriors came back from a 3-1 deficit against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The winner of that game is playing the Cavs, and he was convinced his team would be taking down the Thunder.
On Monday night, the Warriors beat the Thunder 96-88 in Game 7. And sure enough this fan -- keeping true to his promise -- went to his kitchen.
In a YouTube video, he recorded himself eating a few pieces of his T-shirt dipped in barbeque sauce. 

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