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

Mad Minute stories from Monday, August 1st

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BOSTON (AP) -- Nothing like a pre-dawn phone call from Red Sox slugger David Ortiz to get you out of bed in the morning.
At least that's the idea behind a Boston Public Schools initiative that starts next month, when middle- and high-school students will be able to sign up for wake-up calls from Big Papi.
"Wake up! It's David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. Get out of bed and get ready for school. Your future is yours," he says on the calls.
The 40-year-old All-Star designated hitter has said he'll retire after this season. He leads the majors in slugging percentage, on-base average and extra-base hits this year.
Boston schools superintendent Tommy Chang said Monday the goal of the Ortiz calls is to help kids get to school on time and fight absenteeism.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called it a "fun, outside-the-box" approach to a chronic problem. Nationwide, the U.S. Department of Education says more than 6 million students - 13 percent of all school-age Americans - missed at least three weeks of school in the 2013-14 academic year, the most recent for which figures are available.
Red Sox president Sam Kennedy said he hopes the calls, which are being offered free of charge, will help "inspire, motivate and encourage" children to attend school. The calls will be available in English and several foreign languages, though Ortiz won't be speaking all of them.
Boston's school system ran a pilot of the wakeup calls last year, trying them out on two dozen students at the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, a charter high school in the shadow of Fenway Park.
Xaquiel Martinez, a 9th-grade student there, acknowledges he was tardy to school nearly every day before getting the wake-up calls, which helped him get out the door on time.
With Ortiz wrapping up his final season with the Sox, Chang's office says it may tap the New England Patriots for a future call.
No word on whether Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski could be rousing students next.

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PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) -- Police in one New Hampshire city are trying to find out who spray painted "I'm drunk" on the side of their station over the weekend.
Portsmouth police Sgt. Chris Kiberd says officers noticed Sunday morning that someone had spray painted the message at some point during overnight hours.
The police department posted on its Facebook page that officers immediately began working to remove "this artist's thoughtful and insightful creation."
Kiberd says surveillance cameras are placed around the municipal complex but none were recording in the area where the graffiti was discovered. Other cameras reportedly captured two males with hoods covering their heads fleeing from the scene around 1 a.m. Sunday.
Police are continuing to investigate and ask that anyone with knowledge come forward.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Police in New York City are searching for two men who broke into an unlocked apartment and made off with a pet bunny.
In addition to the caged rabbit, police say the men took a bracelet and a passport from the Bronx residence.
A surveillance photo shows the men walking down the sidewalk. One is carrying the cage.
Anyone with information is asked to contact NYPD Crime Stoppers.

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld the petty misdemeanor arrest of an Albuquerque student accused of repeatedly disrupting his middle-school class with loud burps.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision on Monday ruled that the officer and educators named in the lawsuit were entitled to immunity, and the arrest was justified under a New Mexico law that prohibits anyone from interfering in the education process.
The student was a seventh-grader at Albuquerque's Cleveland Middle School at the time of the May 2011 arrest. He is not named in court documents.
His mother, who also isn't named, filed the lawsuit against the then 13-year-old's principals and the police officer who escorted him to his patrol car before patting him down, cuffing him and taking him to a juvenile detention center. He was held for an hour before his mother arrived.
She argued her son's arrest was unlawful and resulted in excessive force.
"At worst, (the boy) was being a class-clown and engaged in behavior that would have subjected generations of school boys to an after-school detention, writing lines, or a call to his parents," a complaint filed by her attorneys said.
According to the school, the boy was in physical education class when his teacher said he began making other students laugh with fake burps. The teacher sent him to the hallway, where he continued burping and leaning into the entranceway to the classroom so the students could hear.
That's when Officer Arthur Acosta, assigned to the middle school as its resource officer, was called to the hallway where the boy was seated, according to court documents.
The boy disputed the version of events provided to the officer by his teacher Margaret Mines-Hornbeck before the officer led him away from the classroom, and took him first to the school's administrative office and then the juvenile detention center.
The boy was suspended for the remainder of the school year.
The appeals court also ruled Monday on a separate complaint brought by the boy's mother stemming from a school official's decision to search the boy in the November after the burp-related arrest.
Court documents show the assistant principal who suspected the teen may have been involved in a marijuana transaction asked him to remove his shoes and jeans, and flip the waistband of a pair of shorts he was wearing under his jeans. The boy was wearing several more layers of clothing under the jeans.
The search turned up a red bandanna, a belt buckle with the image of a marijuana leaf and other items but no drugs.
The mother argued the school official engaged in an unlawful strip search of the boy. But the court found the use of the term "strip search" was a stretch and did not violate the boy's constitutional rights.

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- A suspect in an assault tried to avoid police by climbing a Colorado tree and staying there for hours.
The 30-year-old man camped out in the Colorado Springs tree for about five hours Sunday evening, climbing down after police used tear gas and sprayed him with water.
Police say Lane Malouff was wanted on suspicion of assaulting the mother of his children and trying to strangle her in June in the small southern city of Alamosa.
During the standoff, officers didn't know if Malouff was armed and evacuated several nearby homes as a precaution. But residents seemed more amused than alarmed.
Colorado Springs news station KKTV reports that a crowd formed along the line of crime tape, with many taking videos and photos.
It's not clear if Malouff has a lawyer yet.

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LONDON (AP) -- The renowned Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is offering Britain's government a bit of know-how to discourage cat fights on the doorstep of the national seat of power.
The animal rescue center said Monday a feline welfare specialist has been in contact with Downing Street and the Foreign Office after No. 10's resident mouser, Larry, was reportedly in a scrap with Palmerston, the Foreign Office cat.
Battersea's Lindsey Quinlan says the cats were chosen "based on their sociable, bold and confident nature."
But Quinlan says the "downside to these behavior traits is that aggression can sometimes occur when the territories" of the cats overlap.
Battersea says it's "advisable that Larry and Palmerston have temporary restrictions on their outside access to reduce the risk of them meeting in their early days."

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OWENDALE, Mich. (AP) - A Grinch who stole Christmas lights from a small Michigan town has repented decades later by sending $50.
The money and apology arrived in June in Owendale, near the tip of Michigan's Thumb. The anonymous writer was remorseful over an incident that occurred while drinking in the 1960s.
The writer says the theft of lights "bothers me more and more. Please forgive me."
Village Treasurer Manuel Thies believes the lights probably were on a large Christmas tree publicly displayed near a tavern. The money is going into Owendale's general fund but the letter, which was postmarked in Grand Rapids, will be framed and displayed.
Thies tells the Huron Daily Tribune that it will be a reminder that it's never too late to do the right thing.

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a man caught climbing a fence at a Southern California jail was trying to get in, not out.
Sheriff's officials say 28-year-old Shane James McDonald wasn't a prisoner at the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino when he was spotted scaling the perimeter fence early Sunday. But he did have a warrant out for his arrest.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports that McDonald was arrested on suspicion of trespassing and on the warrant. It's not clear on what charge he was wanted.
Officials aren't sure why McDonald wanted to get into the jail, but that's where he ended up. He's being held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - An Organic farm is seeking $210,000 from a neighboring dairy after cows escaped and defecated on the farm's crops.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that a lawsuit filed by Simington Gardens claims they had to throw out contaminated winter squash and leafy greens and to shut down the field for four months because of the cows from Rock Ridge Farms. Both farms are located in Aurora, located south of Portland.
According to court documents, cows from Rock Ridge escaped their gated enclosure in April 2014. After several hours they were wrangled back to the dairy, but Simington Gardens says the damage was already done.
Oregon Tilth organic policies prohibit the use of raw manure on plants intended for eating.
Officials with Rock Ridge Farm declined to comment but said they work to be good neighbors.

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YARMOUTH, Maine (AP) -- What started out as a joke became reality this past weekend when a Maine restaurant cooked up a 100-pound burger to celebrate its first year in business.
WCSH-TV reports the owners of Dirigo's Public House in Yarmouth worked all day Sunday to cook a freshly ground, 70-pound beef patty that weighed in well over 100 pounds with all the toppings added.
Co-owner Ben Grant says he and his fellow owners were looking for something creative to celebrate their restaurant's first birthday when someone suggested taking their burger to another level.
Customers purchased tickets for a chance to get a bite of the massive burger, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting a local food bank.
Grant says it seemed inappropriate to do something this excessive without giving back.
 

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