Mad Minute stories for Friday, June 24, 2016 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories for Friday, June 24, 2016

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1. DON’T HANG UP ON THE GOVERNOR

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- The Pennsylvania governor's personal touch doesn't always get him very far.

Second-year Gov. Tom Wolf likes to dial his own phone calls, but the Democrat is finding disbelieving receptionists sometimes hang up on him. That's what happened recently when he called his community and economic development secretary and a Democratic state lawmaker.

Wolf spokesman Jeff Sheridan says that's what prompted an email to government agencies, first reported by the Philadelphia Daily News.

The email asked that switchboard operators not hang up on anyone "claiming to be Tom Wolf."

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2. 30 GRAND IN TOLLS

FORT LEE, N.J. (AP) -- Authorities say they've nabbed two New Jersey residents who have racked up about $30,000 in unpaid tolls combined.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says officers pulled over Englewood resident John Reynolds on Wednesday morning after seeing him pass through the E-ZPass lane of the George Washington Bridge while pretending his cellphone was a transponder.

Authorities say the car had about 300 toll violations, totaling about $19,000.

The next morning, officers stopped North Plainfield resident Lucy Sanchez on the bridge after police say she passed through without paying a toll.

Police say Sanchez didn't have a driver's license and had nearly 150 toll violations, totaling about $9,000.

Both are charged with theft of service and evading tolls.

It's not known if they have lawyers.

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3. JUMPING DUCKLINGS

ASBURY PARK, N.J. (AP) -- One New Jersey restaurant has duck on its menu and ducklings jumping off its roof.

Seven ducklings hatched on the roof of the Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten in Asbury Park, then wanted to follow their mother to the ground Thursday.

Office manager Adria Alfro says workers spotted the nest several weeks ago and shielded it from customers.

Alfro says when her boss, Jennifer Lampert, arrived Thursday, the mother duck was on the ground quacking. Then she felt something brush by her and realized the ducklings were jumping.

The sous chef used his hat to catch two of the ducklings, and Alfro stopped traffic so the family could cross the street and enter a lake.

Perhaps the ducklings realized the German restaurant was offering a duck special this week.

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4. GOVERNOR'S WIFE TAKES WAITRESS JOB

BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine (AP) -- The waitress bounded with a cup of chowder and a plate of fish and broccoli.

It was Ann LePage's first double shift at McSeagull's, a bustling restaurant touting double-wrapped bacon scallops and views of Boothbay Harbor.

The wife of Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage had kept a low profile for the first few weeks of her summer job. But then her husband told a crowd at a recent town hall that his wife took a job to "supplement" his $70,000 salary, the lowest of any U.S. governor.

The LePages live with their dog, a Jack Russell terrier mix named Veto, in the Augusta governor's mansion and bought a $215,000 Boothbay home two years ago. The governor recently tried but failed to increase his successor's salary to $150,000, above the nearly $135,000 average for all 50 state governors in 2015.

Ann LePage said being a waitress is "something I've always, always wanted to do."

Her daughter Lauren made $28 an hour last summer at McSeagull's. LePage said she spent years taking care of her mother, who long suffered from scleroderma and passed away in October.

Now it's time to follow through on her interest, LePage said, adding: "I know she'd be proud of me."

Wearing a black McSeagull's T-shirt and sneakers with pink shoelaces, LePage greeted customers with an easy: "Hey, how are you?"

LePage, who's saving up for a Toyota RAV4, works three days a week, and is asking for more shifts.

"Because of who I am and who I'm married to, I want to work extra hard just so I can show them I can do the job," she said.

She doesn't tell customers, or co-workers, who she is unless they ask.

But when a reporter revealed her identity Thursday, the news just confirmed a customer's inklings.

"I knew, that's why I kept staring!" exclaimed Nina Stoddard, of Bridgton, a Republican.

She later wondered: "I mean, is she really here just making money?"

Her friend Laurie Green, of Casco, said she loved it.

"I really hate a lot of our politicians nowadays that have the wealth, the money," said Green, an unaffiliated voter. "They have no clue what the average person out in the world is doing."

Stoddard agreed and suggested LePage herself should run for office: "It's the best of Maine, the best of who we are. Two feet on the ground."

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5. OUSTING THE CAT

WHITE SETTLEMENT, Texas (AP) -- A North Texas city council has started a cat fight by voting to oust the furry mascot of the city's public library.

The governing council of the Fort Worth suburb of White Settlement voted 2-1 to give the library 30 days to find a new home for Browser the cat.

The ex-shelter cat has been a library fixture for six years. But council member Elzie Clements moved at a June 14 council meeting for the tabby's removal.

Mayor Ron White, who has no vote on the council, tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (http://bit.ly/28SVZsK ) the vote was a tit-for-tat after a city employee wasn't allowed to bring a puppy to work at City Hall.

Ex-council member Alan Price said Browser's supporters will petition for a reprieve in November's elections.

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6. PLENTY OF LEG ROOM

ATLANTA (AP) — A Georgia man says he was the only passenger on a Delta flight back home.

Steven Schneider of Lawrenceville, Georgia, tells WSB-TV ( ) that he arrived at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport on Tuesday and saw no passengers waiting at his gate.

Delta said in a statement that other customers were accommodated on an earlier departure. The airline said the reason they operated the flight was to have the plane positioned back in Atlanta so it could be in place for a departure the next day.

Schneider says Delta tried to call him, but they had the wrong contact number for him. He says the flight attendant told him the 160-passenger plane needed to go back to anyway.

Delta says they're glad Schneider enjoyed the "rare solo experience."

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7. SECRET HEROIN OPERATION

NEW YORK (AP) — Police say they have uncovered a massive heroin-selling operation behind a secret door that was disguised as a shelf at a New York City candy shop.

Police say State Finance Department officers discovered the door at the Gates Candy & Grocery store in Brooklyn on Wednesday during an inspection for untaxed cigarettes.

Police raided the store Thursday and say they found large quantities of drugs and drug paraphernalia. Police say they found bags of suspected heroin and barrels full of suspected fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a powerful prescription painkiller often cut with heroin.

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8. SNAKE GETS LOST IN IT'S OWN SKIN.  

It’s one thing to get lost in your own thoughts. Getting lost in your own skin is another thing entirely.

That’s what happened to a snake in Alice Springs, Australia, that was trying to shed its skin.

The Stimson’s python was crawling out of its old skin when it mistakenly crawled back into it, according to a Facebook post from the Alice Springs Reptile Centre.

The snake circled inside the shed skin for three hours before it finally broke through to freedom.

“It actually looks like a steering wheel. Have been in the reptile business a long time and have never seen anything quite like it,” a reptile center employee wrote on Facebook.

Except for a small exit hole, the snake’s skin doughnut remained intact.

Snakes typically shed their skin to allow for growth or to remove parasites. But this circular shed was definitely out of the ordinary.

The snake seems unfazed by the ordeal and has resumed normal activities, according to the center.

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9. DAD USES SQUIRRLL TO PULL OUT DAUGHTERS TOOTH.

Something’s squirrelly over here.

When his daughter had a loose tooth, Montreal dad David Freiheit had an idea: Get a live squirrel to pull the thing out, and let “nature” take its truest course.

In a YouTube video, Freiheit and his daughter set up shop in a local park. They tie one end of a string to the tooth, and the other to a tantalizing hunk of granola. They sit. They wait. The squirrels begin to circle, and what happens next is, well, nuts.

We’re not sure most dentists would recommend this method of tooth extraction. Interacting with wildlife always carries some risks, (though squirrels almost never carry rabies) and items like string can potentially harm squirrels. Luckily, this dad got the string (and tooth!) back and everything appears to have turned out fine.

Kudos to this fearless team! 

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10. THIEFS ARRESTED AFTER POSTING CELEBRATION VIDEO ON FACEBOOK LIVE

Two Florida men learned the hard way that it’s best not to brag about your alleged crimes on social media.

Raderius Glenn Collins, 18, allegedly posted a Facebook Live video in May under the name Collins Raderius in which he and two friends flashed stacks of money and boasted that “we got a safe.”

Police used the video to arrest Collins as well as 27-year-old Marcus Terrell Parker for two alleged burglaries. A third suspect remains at large. 

The video is still online, and in a June 13 post, Collins blamed Facebook for “snitchin.”  

The men were accused of stealing a safe with more than $500,000 in jewelry from one home, and jewelry worth more than $10,000 from another home, according to NBC Miami. 

The suspects were not only lousy at being crooks, they were even worse at cutting deals for stolen goods.

“The jewelry that they sold was valued at $500,000, but they sold it and got $1,300 each,” one official told 7 News in Miami. 

Police said they recovered the jewelry and other items, and that the men may have been involved in more crimes.

“These men have committed crimes throughout the county,” Village of Pinecrest communications manager Michelle Hammontree told CBS Miami. “They happen to have been arrested in Pinecrest but there’s cases open in the county for them as well.”

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