Mad Minute stories from Friday, August 5th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Friday, August 5th

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Police in Green Bay, Wisconsin, say they have received a number of calls after someone was spotted dressed up as a scary clown holding black balloons.
Meanwhile, someone has started a Facebook fan page for "Gags - The Green Bay Clown." It has several photos of the clown that it says were taken early Tuesday morning. The clown is dressed in a dirty costume and is wearing white face paint or a mask. The clown is also holding four black balloons.
Green Bay police say despite the creepy images and costume, there's not much they can do about the clown. Capt. Kevin Warych tells WGBA-TV, "A person can walk down the sidewalk dressed however they want as long as they're in a place they legally can be."

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CINCINNATI (AP) -- Customers will soon be able to get pizza from an ATM at one Ohio University.
Xavier (ZAYV'-yur) University in Cincinnati has partnered with a French company to install the first Pizza ATM in North America.
The company, Paline, says the machine will hold 70 pizzas at once. Customers will be able to use a touch screen to pick one of the $10 pizzas, which will be heated for several minutes, placed in a cardboard box and ejected through a slot.
Paline says the pizza dispensers have been in Europe for 14 years. They're typically in small towns, at gas stations or pizzerias.
Xavier's marketing director for auxiliary services, Jennifer Paiotti, tells WCPO-TV that she's a New Yorker but considers the machine-dispensed pizza to be the best she's ever had.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Each identical triplet is so tiny she can fit in her father's hand -- and soon these rare medical wonders in Oregon will have painted toenails so the new parents can tell them apart.
Logan Brown-Fletcher and Amber Hills, 19-year-old high school sweethearts and first-time parents from Newberg, Oregon, welcomed identical girl triplets Raelyn, Avery and Elaina on Monday.
Their neonatologist, Dr. Craig Novack, told The Oregonian/OregonLive that identical triplets are so rare he's only seen one other set in his 22-year career.
The triplets' birth came earlier than planned after doctors had trouble hearing a heartbeat for one. Hills was about 33 weeks along when she had Cesarian section.
The infants -- who respectively weighed 2 pounds, 12 ounces; 3 pounds, 11 ounces and 2 pounds, 15 ounces -- are in the neonatal intensive care unit at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland. The girls are expected to survive and could go home next month.
Hills' pregnancy was made even more difficult because the ultrasound that revealed she was carrying triplets also showed a large mass in her ovary.
"I was so scared I could lose the babies," she said. "I bawled the whole way home."
The mass turned out to be a cyst the size of a basketball and Hills had surgery to remove the ovary and the cyst while she was pregnant.
The new parents, who are engaged, hope to have their daughters be a part of the wedding ceremony.
"It melts my heart knowing that they survived," Brown-Fletcher said, as one of his daughters wrapped her tiny arm around his finger inside her incubator.

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ROYAL OAK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - State troopers risked getting sprayed by a skunk to help the animal get free of a yogurt container that was stuck on its head in suburban Detroit.
The troopers were dispatched Thursday morning to see if they could help the skunk, which was running in circles in Oakland County's Royal Oak Township.
In a statement, state police say the animal was "spraying everything" when they arrived. They say one trooper used a wooden pole to help distract the skunk while a second trooper ran up and removed the cup from the animal's head. Both escaped without being sprayed.
Police say the skunk looked around before leaving the area. The agency says it's providing "service with a purpose to all members of the community, human or animal."

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SYDNEY -- A powerful X-ray technique has unveiled a hidden portrait beneath a famed painting by French impressionist artist Edgar Degas, helping solve a mystery that has stumped the art world for decades.
An article published this week in the online journal Scientific Reports reveals that the long-puzzled-over image concealed behind Degas' "Portrait of a Woman" is, in fact, a portrait of another woman. Australian researchers believe she is Emma Dobigny, one of the painter's favorite models.
For nearly a century, experts have known that Degas painted the famed portrait over another image sometime between 1876 and 1880. As the painting aged, the faint outline of what appeared to be another woman began leaking through the top layers of paint.
Staff at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, where the portrait is housed, wanted to see what was hidden underneath. But traditional X-ray techniques and infrared photography weren't powerful enough to reveal any detail.
So the gallery teamed up with scientists from Australian Synchrotron, who spent 33 hours painstakingly scanning the painting with a high-definition X-ray beam produced by a particle accelerator called a synchrotron. Synchrotrons accelerate electrons to high speeds, creating a source of light a million times brighter than the sun.
The technique was so successful that the scientists could not only see the details of the entire hidden image, but its evolution. Degas, for example, appears to have originally given the woman pixie-like ears, but later reworked them to a more conventional shape.
The quality of the results stunned the scientists.
"We were expecting to image a woman beneath, but nowhere near the detail that we did get in the end," said Daryl Howard, a scientist at Australian Synchrotron and one of the paper's authors.
Howard is among those who believe the image is of Dobigny, a well-known French model in the 1800s.
"Degas has painted her several times before," he said. "Some other people think it's someone else and we'll leave that for them to ultimately decide who it is."
It was not uncommon for artists to paint over their previous work in the 1800s and Howard believes the X-ray technique used to solve the Degas portrait puzzle will be picked up by other museums wondering what lies beneath their paintings.
"I think in the near future we're going to see a lot more of these results coming out," he said.

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A '"UFO" got a police escort last week when it roamed the streets of Ireland, but the rolling saucer wasn't from outer space. It was made right here on Earth.
Ali Kemal Ali, 53, told the Belfast Telegraph he initially completed the craft as part of a visual arts course he was taking. The saucer later became the centerpiece of an Irish art exhibition called Third Space Pop Art Show.
Ali said he wanted more people to see his creation.
"I thought, 'How can I attract a bit more interest?'" he recalled. "I thought, 'I'll go and ask the guards,'" Ali said, referring to the Garda, the Irish civilian police force. "I asked, 'Can they give me a police escort with my UFO?' They loved it." 
The fiberglass flying saucer reportedly runs on two electric scooters and is complete with a strobe light, laser, smoke machine and a loudspeaker designed to reproduce low bass frequencies that sound out of this world.
Video of the craft's journey taken by onlookers shows the saucer even made its way through a neighborhood park.
"How often do you go into a police station and ask for something like this? It's always doom and gloom," Ali added. "They saw the funny side of it."
Ali posted a video of the saucer's police escort, which now has almost a million views on Facebook.

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A man in Swindon, UK made a very bizarre attempt at hiding drugs from police. But when you find yourself naked in a parking lot, about to be arrested, maybe this was the first idea that came to mind. 
Police found 7.2  grams of cocaine stuffed into 24-year-old Joshua Hare's foreskin. 
Officers went to the parking lot outside the furniture store when people reported Hare shouting at customers. 
When they tried to arrest him, he fought back. While in custody, police say a baggie with the powder started to come out of his penis. 
In court, Hare pleaded guilty to the charges against him, and was given a 12 week suspended sentence and a fine. 

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New London, CT - Grow lights used in illegal drug operations are being used to teach students at one Connecticut high school.
The program started when a teacher at New London High School needed grow lights so students could grow plants year-around.
After talking to the school resource officer, teacher and Chef Tomm decided to ask the State Police Narcotics Task Force for the confiscated lights.
So instead of being trashed, the lights were donated to the school.
"They went to the New London County Prosecutor's Office and went through the paperwork," said Sgt. Lawrence Keating of the New London Police Department, "and were able to get the equipment signed over to new London High School instead of ending up in a dumpster." 
So far the school has received six of the seized grow lights. 
The goal is for police to donate even more to expand the culinary program into the middle and elementary schools.

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Sioux Falls, SD - It is one bittersweet retirement for one South Dakota woman who is saying goodbye to a place she's worked at for nearly two decades.
94-year-old Verna Miller has worked at Taco Johns in Sioux Falls since November 5th, 1999.
From about 11 to 1 every day, you would find her bringing trays to customers and wiping down tables.
Miller says what she will miss the most is her interaction with people, which she says helped her cope with the loss of her husband.
As she clocked out for the final time, she had a simple message to everyone she has ever met.
"Thanks for everything," said Verna Miller. "I appreciate all what you've done for me. But I can't cry, or I'll cry until morning."
All of her coworkers said they were going to miss her. 

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Opelika, AL - An Alabama woman who many have come to know as "the lawnmower lady" helped police nab a murder suspect.
She's been rewarded in a unique way.
To help repay her for helping keep the community safe, local business CTE Small Engines has gifted 54-year-old Lori Boyd with a brand new riding lawn mower. 
Boyd, who is disabled and living off of social security, earns money by cutting grass.
Alabama authorities say Boyd called police after she ran into a man fitting the description of a man suspected of shooting and killing a girl while driving on Interstate-85 last month. 
Thanks to her tip, police were then able to capture and arrest the suspect. 
Boyd's new lawnmower will do more than just mow lawns. Her old one broke down right after she called police, and it was also her primary mode of transportation. 
"There's a lot of people with a lot of good heart," Boyd said. "There's so much craziness in this world right now and negativity. If everybody keeps doing something good, the world's going to get better."
Along with the gift of a new lawnmower, Boyd was also given a leaf blower.

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