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

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, July 19th

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DURHAM, N.H. (AP) -- University of New Hampshire dairy researchers are more relaxed these days about monitoring pregnant cows: A sensor attached to their tails sends text alerts to help detect when they're in labor.
Moocall measures tail movement patterns triggered by labor contractions. On average, it alerts dairy managers by cellphone and email about an hour before a cow gives birth.
Moocall was developed in Ireland and released commercially last year. The company says the University of Kentucky also uses the technology.
Doctoral student Kayla Aragona says with about 70 calves are born every year at the farm, it's a help.
But it's not foolproof. One unhappy cow rubbed her tail up against everything and banged the sensor on the wall to try to get it to fall off, leading to false alarms.

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FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Authorities say three runaways used a large tractor to smash through the wall of a California school building, then went inside and stole sodas and portable radios.
KFSN reports the incident happened at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday at a Central Unified School District building in Fresno County.
Officers responding to the scene say they saw three juveniles running from the area, and quickly detained them. All three were runaways from a nearby group home.
Police found a tractor from a construction site in the area was used to drive through the side of one of the buildings. The station reports the suspects then stole sodas and radios that belonged to the school district.
The boys were taken to Fresno County Juvenile Hall on various charges, including commercial burglary and felony vandalism.

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KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) - A Marion man accused of taking a walrus tusk as "collateral" for his stolen motorcycle has pleaded not guilty to theft and bail-jumping charges.
The Daily Inter Lake reports 34-year-old Edward Lee Hubbs III's attorney entered the plea on Hubbs' behalf last week.
Court documents say the ivory tusk was stolen from a home on U.S. Highway 93 on Jan. 31. A Flathead County sheriff's deputy found the tusk last month during a vehicle search.
Hubbs, who was a passenger in the vehicle, reportedly said he was keeping the tusk as collateral because a man had allegedly stolen his motorcycle.
Authorities added bail jumping to the theft charge when Hubbs didn't show up for an arraignment scheduled in June.
A jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 11.

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma repo man got more than he bargained for when he repossessed a car with a baby strapped into the back seat.
Tulsa television station KOTV reports that the repossession company employee spotted the car Saturday parked at an oil change business in Tulsa. He towed the vehicle to a convenience store where he realized the baby was inside.
The driver called 911.
Police say surveillance video at the oil change shop where the car had been parked shows the mother had only been out of the car for a few minutes when the driver took possession of the vehicle.
Officers returned the baby and the car to the mother.
Police detectives are considering whether charges are appropriate.

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WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) - Westport police say two young men looking for Pokemon in the prayer garden of a local Roman Catholic church instead came across a naked woman who was vandalizing the property.
Police tell the Connecticut Post the men were playing smartphone game "Pokemon Go," which led them into the garden of St. Luke's Church on Wednesday.
They say the naked woman in the garden had pulled lights from the ground, overturned a statue and benches and was throwing garbage from her car into a baptismal pond.
Police were called. The woman, identified only as a 40-year-old Bridgeport resident, was taken to a local hospital for observation. She was not arrested.
Church officials say the damage to the garden can be repaired.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A federal lawsuit over a South Carolina restaurant's policy of charging workers to cover the cost of broken glasses and dishes is headed to trial.
The Post and Courier of Charleston reports jury selection is set next month in the case brought against Hyman Seafood Co. of Charleston.
Under the policy, bartenders, servers and bussers were charged a few dollars each shift to offset breakage costs.
But it's against federal law to extract business costs from employee wages. The company has acknowledged in court documents that the policy violated the federal Fair Labors Standards Act. A restaurant attorney says the issue is how much the 160 workers are entitled to receive.
U.S. District Judge Patrick Duffy said it's up to a jury to decide if the violation was willful.

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Woolgoolga, Australia - When you think of a koala, you probably think of something cute, furry and quiet, who lives in a tree and eats leaves. The last thing you'd think of, is probably pole dancing -- but apparently it shouldn't be. 
When a woman named Nikki Erickson went into her home in Woolgoolga, Australia, she found a wild koala climbing a metal pole in her living room. 
She thinks the koala probably got in through her doggy door, and then figured the pole was a tree and started to climb. 
After she snapped a few adorable photos, she called an animal rescue group who came in and got the koala, and returned it to its natural habitat. 

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Dallas, TX - Emergency crews had to call for help after someone stole their ambulance in Dallas, Texas.  
It wasn't hard to spot the hot ride, after the thief crashed it into a building Tuesday morning.
It started as paramedics responded to call for medical assistance. When they arrived, a man jumped into the ambulance and sped away. 
He crashed the ambulance into the building, suffering minor injuries, and is in police custody.
No one else got hurt.

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IRVINE, Calif. - The bright pink metal shipping container had barely popped open its walls for its 11 a.m. grand opening, but the long line of patient customers - many of whom donned headbands topped with giant pink bows - had been there for hours.
Raquel Rockwell and Monica Yoo, the first two people in line, arrived at 7:30 a.m. to secure their spots.
"I asked my boss if I could come in late to work," Rockwell told NBC News. "I told him there was something important I wanted to do."
Friday, July 15, marked Sanrio's unveiling of the first-ever Hello Kitty-themed cafe in the United States. Located next to a giant ferris wheel in Irvine, California, at the Irvine Spectrum Center outdoor mall, the Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Container offers a full menu of sweet treats, specialty drinks, and coffee brewed with beans sourced from local Orange County roaster Portola Coffee Lab, with a daily tea service expected to debut later in the year.
Although the container is set up galley-style to ensure a fast and efficient order and pick-up process (with a pop-out patio for the customers who want to stay and soak in the cuteness), it might be a few weeks - even months - before the heavy traffic dies down. Day one of the cafe's weekend-long celebration ended at 2 p.m. due to reached capacity, despite its set 10 p.m. closing time.
"For me, the appeal is nostalgia," Niki Santos-Sablan told NBC News about the Hello Kitty Cafe.
"There is a lot of love for Hello Kitty whether it's a backpack or a bag or a sticker - or really long lines," David Marchi, Sanrio's vice president of brand management and marketing, told NBC News. "Everything that we do, we do with love and a special attention to detail, because we're fans ourselves."
Sanrio considers the Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Container to be the evolved form of its Hello Kitty Cafe Truck, which made its debut in November 2014 at the Hello Kitty Con in Los Angeles, and has traveled to cities all over the U.S. selling bow-adorned desserts like doughnuts and macarons. It is also considered to be one of the first "character cafes" to come to the States, a reference to the themed bistros found in major cities in Japan, Singapore, and other Asian countries.
Several Hello Kitty fans, like Niki Santos-Sablan, told NBC News he was thrilled by the arrival of the pop-up container, and hopes the U.S. follows Asia in opening more character cafes - especially Sanrio-related ones.
"For me, the appeal is nostalgia," Santos-Sablan said. "My favorite item from my Hello Kitty collection is this 1983 plush I got when I was five. I still have a lot of the things I kept as a little girl."
"It reminds me of my childhood - of getting to go to the Sanrio store to pick out a pencil whenever I got good grades," Yoo added.
While Hello Kitty is a pop culture icon that has played a role in many Americans' childhoods for more than four decades, some, like Rockwell, see the cafe as a safe haven to escape from the challenges of everyday life.
"Sometimes I just want to tap out from my hectic, crazy real world and go eat a cute pastry with my friends," Rockwell said. "For me, this is treating myself. I'm taking a break from work, and I'm going to eat all the things with Hello Kitty's face on it."
The Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up Container will remain in the Irvine Spectrum for a one-year residency, after which it will be evaluated by the Sanrio team.

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Congham, Norfolk, UK - A garden snail named Herbie has been crowned the victor of the UK's Snail Race World Championship. 
More than two hundred snails competed for the title in Norfolk. Racing across a damp table cloth, the first to reach the outer circle wins. Multiple heats lasted all afternoon until the championship final face off.  
It's an annual event that dates back decade - at least as far back as 1995, when a snail named Archie set a Guinness World Record. He zoomed across the thirteen inch race track in a lightening flash of two minutes and twenty seconds. 
Herbie, who was plucked from the obscurity of his trainer's garden on race day without any advance training, and wore a red, white and blue uniform recalling the Volkswagen beetle of movie fame, didn't come close to that time. 
Race organizer Neil Riseborough says the snails were down right sluggish in their performance.
As his reward, Herbie took home a cup of fresh lettuce leaves. 


 

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