Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 14th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, July 14th

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BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) -- People using a lakeside bike trail in central Minnesota might expect to encounter some wildlife along the way. But not an alligator.
But that is what Crow Wing County Sheriff's Lt. Joe Meyer's department was called upon to capture Saturday afternoon on a trail southwest of Brainerd. Meyer says it was a department first.
He tells the Star Tribune his deputies weren't keen to volunteer to capture the 3-foot gator, especially as the reptile was aggressive. So the department asked the nearby Safari North Wildlife Park to help trap the reptile.
The deputies later posed for a photo with the alligator, but only after its snout was taped shut.
Meyer says the alligator was probably an escaped or illegally released pet.
Brainerd is about 125 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

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BERLIN (AP) -- A 91-year-old woman is in trouble with a German museum after taking an art work depicting part of a crossword too literally.
"Reading-work-piece," from 1965, was created by avant-garde artist Arthur Koepcke. It features the phrase "Insert Words" and was displayed at Nuremberg's Neues Museum.
Museum spokesman Eva Martin on Thursday confirmed local media reports that the woman filled in blank spaces with a ballpoint pen, news agency dpa reported. She was visiting Wednesday with a group of senior citizens.
Martin said museum officials believe the work can be restored. Museum chief Eva-Christina Kraus filed a criminal complaint, saying the case had to be reported for insurance reasons though there was no malicious intent. Police said the woman is being investigated for damage to property.

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CICERO, N.Y. (AP) -- Someone in New York's Department of Transportation needs help spelling Syracuse.
A road sign directing motorists to the Syracuse airport has the city's name misspelled as S-R-Y-A-C-U-S-E. The "Sryacuse Airport" sign is along the on-ramp to Interstate 481's southbound lanes in the town of Cicero, just north of Syracuse.
The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that it's unknown when the sign was erected.
Syracuse Hancock International Airport officials say they were unaware of any new signs going up.
A state transportation spokesman said he was unaware of the misspelled sign but would look into it.

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AURORA, Colo. (AP) -- Investigators say an off-duty Colorado sheriff's deputy fired a bullet straight down the barrel of a suspect's gun, a shot they called "one in a billion."
The detail emerged in a letter from prosecutors Wednesday announcing that Arapahoe County Deputy Jose Marquez was justified in shooting the attempted-robbery suspect, who survived. Marquez also was wounded in the January shooting and is still recovering.
The Aurora Sentinel newspaper in suburban Denver reports that Marquez was visiting his girlfriend's apartment when two suspects approached him in the parking lot with their guns drawn.
The off-duty deputy told investigators that one suspect told him to "give it up."
Marquez says the suspects fired first and he shot back. One was wounded in the leg and arrested, and the other got away.

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HILLSBORO, Mo. (AP) - An eastern Missouri man whose mechanical arm was seized this spring after he was accused of hitting an officer with it has had the prosthetic taken away a second time.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 28-year-old Joshua Stockinger, of House Springs, had the arm confiscated most recently after he was accused of using the prosthetic to break glass out of a jail door in Jefferson County. He is jailed there on $150,000 cash-only bail on four felony charges that were filed last week following a road-rage arrest. No attorney is listed for him in only court records.
The prosthetic was first seized in May in St. Louis County after an officer responding to a reported car dealership disturbance was hit over the head with it.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A Delta Air Lines jetliner with 130 passengers on board landed at the wrong airport in South Dakota Thursday evening, said a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the incident.
The Delta A320 landed at Ellsworth Air Force Base at 8:42 p.m. Central Time Thursday, when its destination was an airport in Rapid City, board spokesman Peter Knudson said Friday.
Ellsworth is about 10 miles due north of Rapid City Regional Airport. The two airports have runways that are oriented nearly identically to the compass, from northwest to southeast.
Delta Flight 2845 had departed from Minneapolis. A passenger interviewed by the Rapid City Journal said she and her fellow passengers waited about 2½ hours in the plane at Ellsworth, where they were ordered to pull down their window shades as military personnel walked through the cabin with at least one firearm and a dog.
This was not the first time airline pilots have mistaken the Air Force base for the Rapid City airport. In 2004, a Northwest Airlines flight carrying 117 passengers to Rapid City landed at Ellsworth. The plane remained on the ground for more than three hours as the pilots explained to Air Force security officers what went wrong, and a new crew was dispatched to continue the flight to Rapid City.
Northwest and Delta merged 2008.
Delta has contacted the passengers "and offered a gesture of apology for the inconvenience," the airline said in a statement.
The crew has been taken off-duty while NTSB investigates, the statement said. "Delta will fully cooperate with that investigation and has already begun an internal review of its own," it added.
The Air Force said in a statement that the base officials "followed the proper procedures to address the situation" and ensured the safety of those at the base and passengers.
Citing security reasons, base officials declined to answer questions from The Associated Press regarding the specific procedures followed during the incident and whether air traffic controllers at the base were in contact with the pilot and authorized the landing.
Landings at wrong airports by commercial pilots, while unusual, are still more common than many passengers may realize or airlines would like to acknowledge.
An Associated Press search two years ago of government safety data and news reports since the early 1990s found at least 150 flights in which U.S. commercial passenger and cargo planes have either landed at the wrong airport or started to land and realized their mistake in time.
Of the 35 documented wrong landings, at least 23 occurred at airports with shorter runways, creating potential safety issues.
In most cases, the pilots were cleared by controllers to fly based on what they could see rather than relying on automation. Many incidents occurred at night, with pilots reporting they were attracted by the runway lights of the first airport they saw during descent. Some pilots said they disregarded navigation equipment that showed their planes slightly off course because the information didn't match what they were seeing out their windows - a runway straight ahead.
On Jan. 12, 2014, the pilots of a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 stopped their plane just short of a ravine at the end of a short runway in Hollister, Missouri, when they had meant to land on a runway twice as long at nearby Branson.
A few months earlier, an Atlas Air Boeing 747 freighter landed at the tiny Jabara Airport in Wichita, Kansas, instead of McConnell Air Force Base about eight miles away. The runway is considered 3,000 feet less than ideal for the plane, one of the largest in the world. It took about 10 hours to turn the plane around and ready it for takeoff again. A nearby highway was shut down as a safety precaution.


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Susan Saunders began hearing the explosions at random hours, day and night, in February at her Alhambra home. The first one came at 3 a.m.
"I thought, 'Somebody's blowing things up,'" said Saunders, 60. "It really lifted my windows."
But she heard it again and again. Her neighbors started hearing it. Police were called. They received 114 calls about the noises since mid-February, according to Chris Paulson, the city's administrative services director. He told the Pasadena Star-News local government agencies did not know what the cause of the sound was.
City officials are baffled; one blast interrupted a city council meeting.
"All of a sudden we hear this loud sharp explosion - very quick," Paulson said. "We all flinched and looked around and didn't see smoke or flames or light."
They called Caltech seismologists. But they don't have an answer.
"There's nothing seismic that I can see," said Jennifer Andrews, a staff seismologist at Caltech in Pasadena, who was asked by Alhambra city officials to check earthquake data for Feb. 22. "What that phenomenon might be, I don't know. I haven't heard the noises."
The seismograph picks up pressure waves from things like thunder and helicopter sounds. But the Alhambra explosions are baffling.
"Whether it's a man-made or natural phenomenon, I don't know," Andrews said.
She hopes to learn more by the end of the week.
Saunders, a school teacher, said the last time she heard it was in early June.
She suggests that schools set up a science project to have students investigate the source of the booms as part of a class project.
Residents, meanwhile, are speculating online about the source of the sounds. Is it a job for Mulder and Scully?
"I believe that anything's possible, but I don't think these are aliens," Saunders said.

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If you were to take a tour of Europe's tiny, rocky Faroe Islands in Google Street View, you might see a lot of sheep. 
But you can't take a tour of the Faroe Islands in Google Street View, unlike much of the rest of Europe. A resident of the North Atlantic islands has turned to her sheep to try and fix that. 
Durita Dahl Andreassen, of the tourist organization Visit Faroe Islands, has fastened a 360-degree camera, powered by a solar panel, to the back of her sheep. The camera takes photographs as the animal grazes along the hillsides that she can then upload to Street View. 
She's using this "Sheep View 360" program to get Google's attention, starting a petition to entice the Internet giant to turn its eye on the archipelago located roughly midway between Scotland, Iceland and Norway.
"The Faroe Islands may be rugged and remote but this collection of 18 islands in the North Atlantic also provide some of the world's most magical landscapes and it is time that this hidden Nordic nation is revealed to the world," Andreassen said in a post on the Visit Faroe Islands website Monday.
The Faroe Islands, a part of Denmark whose name may in fact derive from the Old Norse word "faer," meaning sheep, according to the CIA Fact Book, has a population of just over 50,000 people. That compares to 80,000 sheep, The Guardian reported. 
The sheep rarely notice the camera and continue to graze as it captures a picture a minute, Andreassen said in a video promoting the project. 
Sheep View imitates Google Street View, which captures images in 360 degrees that give users a sense of what streets look like from their computers or phones; it's available on most of America's roads, and throughout much of Europe as well, including even a few spots in the even-more-remote Greenland. Parts of Germany, Austria, Belarus and a few other nations are not included in Google's current European coverage.
Of course, Sheep View doesn't have quite the same reach as Street View, and Andreassen's project aims to have Google bring Street View cameras to the Faroe Islands, where she argues they're much-needed.
"In order to cover the big sweeping Faroese roads and the whole of the breath-taking landscapes, we need Google to come and map them," Andreassen said. 

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TOLEDO, OH (WCMH) - Two people were arrested in Toledo early this morning after police say they jumped the fence to play Pokemon Go.
Robin Bartholomy, 25, and Adrian Crawford, 26, both of Toledo are charged with criminal trespassing.
According to court documents, the pair jumped the fence around 2:30 this morning and walked through the zoo playing the game. They were arrested outside the tiger exhibit.
Bartholomy and Crawford were booked into the Lucas County jail before being released on their own recognizance.
WTOL reports that Bartholomy made a post on Facebook just days before the arrest where she said "I am not above breaking and entering for a Pokemon."

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) -- A New Jersey woman has been arrested for allegedly skipping tolls, something authorities say she's done more than 500 times.
The Jersey Journal reports police attempted to stop 55-year-old Denise Simien near the Holland Tunnel after learning she owed more than $16,000 in unpaid tolls and fees. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Joe Pentangelo says the Verona woman didn't stop and passed through the toll plaza again without paying before she was stopped on the other side of the plaza.
Simien was charged Wednesday with theft of services and obstruction of justice.
She's one of several people who've recently been charged with evading the Holland Tunnel's $15 toll.
It's unclear if she has an attorney who can comment on the charges.

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