Mad Minute stories from Thursday, August 25th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, August 25th

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- A Maine professor is hoping to brew interest in her chemistry class by keeping the topic on beer.
University of Southern Maine professor Lucille Benedict tells the Portland Press Herald it can be challenging to keep students engaged in chemistry, so she started using beer as a testing medium.
Benedict oversees the school's new Quality Assurance/Quality Control and Research Laboratory. The lab has partnered with the Maine Brewers Guild to provide testing and training for breweries and brewmasters.
Students say the beer-testing lab allows them to use science to solve real-world problems.
Classes for brewers begin in the fall. They focus on how a flawed brewing process can contaminate or ruin beer. Brewers can also send samples to the lab for testing.
The lab charges $25 for basic testing.

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- A Filipino fisherman in western Palawan island has found possibly the world's biggest pearl, but he didn't know it.
For 10 years, the 34-kilogram (75-pound) pearl was hidden in a bag under a bed. The fisherman's family would rub it with their hands before going out to sea in the belief it would bring them luck, said relative Aileen Amurao.
Amurao, who is also Puerto Princesa city's tourism officer, said Thursday that the man gave her the pearl last month for safekeeping because he was moving to a new place.
The pearl was sitting on a bench in her home for weeks until she found time to check the internet, and she was shocked to learn that it could be the world's biggest at 2.2 feet (67 centimeters) long and 1 foot (30 centimeters) wide.
The fisherman, his father and brothers found the irregular-shaped pearl inside a giant clam that stuck to their boat's anchor when they sought refuge from a squall on a reef, Amurao said.
The fisherman did not want to be identified, she said.
She said that she, the fisherman and his family decided to turn over the pearl to the city mayor, who had it displayed in a glass case in Puerto Princesa's city hall to attract tourists. The fisherman will receive a still-unspecified reward from the local government, Amurao said, adding that he never intended to sell it.
Experts from the University of the Philippines have expressed interest in inspecting the pearl, but she said no date has been set for their visit.
It would not be the first time giant pearls have been found off Palawan.
A 9-kilogram (20-pound) pearl, called Pearl of the King, was found in Palawan in 1939, and is on display in a hotel at the central island resort of Boracay. Local media have reported that fishermen had recovered other huge pearls in the province, including one reportedly weighing 24.75 kilograms (54 pounds).
The Guinness World Records lists a 718.50 carat baroque abalone pearl as the biggest of its kind, measuring 5.5 inches (14 centimeters) in length, 3.1 inches (8 centimeters) wide and 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) thick.

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Thieves coming across dead moose on Alaska roads are stealing the carcasses, making away with hundreds of pounds of meat that normally goes to a program run by state troopers that gives it to the needy and others willing to butcher the carcasses, officials said Wednesday.
Two moose killed recently by cars or trucks were set to be picked up by the trooper-sponsored program that alerts the Alaska Moose Federation so carcasses can be quickly delivered to recipients on a state troopers' list of people who want them.
But federation drivers could not find the two dead moose in July and August when they went to roadkill sites between Anchorage and Denali National Park, said the federation's director, Don Dyer.
Moose are the property of the state in Alaska when killed on the road and the thefts hurt Alaskans who like moose meat and depend on wild game to supplement their diets, he said.
"Sometimes there will be 10 people waiting for this moose to be delivered," Dyer said. "Then we have to call them up and say, 'Sorry, this moose has been stolen.'"
Roadkill moose provide plenty of food because adult bulls weigh up to 1,650 pounds, yielding more than 560 pounds of meat each.
Alaska's cold weather allows residents to take advantage of roadkill meat as food because carcasses stay fresh long enough for federation drivers to retrieve them in time for them to be butchered rapidly.
"In Arizona, something like this might not work because of the spoilage factor," Dyer said. "Here, where the climate is cooler, we're able to salvage the meat quickly enough so that it's not spoiled."
Any Alaskan can sign up for the moose salvage program. Recipients are not allowed to sell the meat, said wildlife trooper Capt. Rex Leath.
Before the moose retrieval program started in 2012, Alaskans on the troopers' list were notified about moose roadkill locations and told they could go get the meat. Dyer said the retrieval program saves time for troopers and police.
"At 3 o'clock in the morning at 30 below in February, you might have a group of grandmothers out there cutting up a moose on the side of the road in a snow storm with kitchen knives, and the officer would have to sit there for an hour or two hours while they're cutting up this moose, protecting them from traffic," Dyer said.
The federation with funding from a federal grant receives $200 for each moose picked up, using big pickups outfitted with winches and ramp systems to lift the carcasses from the roads.
Dyer suspects the moose thieves dragged the carcasses onto snowmobile trailers to tow them away. Last weekend, federation drivers arrived at another roadkill site and found that part of a moose's shoulder had been sliced off.
Two moose were also missing last winter when federation drivers went to pick them up.
Most moose die on Alaska roads from October through March when they meander onto roads to avoid struggling through deep snow.
The federation picked up about 500 moose over the last year and retrieves as many as 800 during years with heavy winter snows.
Besides depriving the needy of moose meat, the roadkill thieves waste the time of troopers and the federation, Dyer said.
"The impact these thefts have is not minimal," he said.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) -- Employees of an Oregon grocery store are cleaning up after a police say a woman drove her SUV into the store and down the aisles.
Springfield police say a 43-year-old Glenwood woman tried to purchase $2,200 of gift cards and became upset when her check bounced and Safeway employees would not complete the transaction.
The Register-Guard reports that she angrily left the store Tuesday afternoon and returned just after midnight Wednesday morning. Police say she parked in front of the store and was yelling about wanting her gift cards.
Police say the woman then drove the SUV through the store entrance, up and down an aisle, and out the other side of the Safeway.
Police arrested her at her home.
No one was injured.

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WINSLOW TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- A 5-year-old boy in New Jersey has picked up the lunch tab for his police department.
William Evertz Jr. saved up his allowance for seven months and went to a Subway restaurant on Wednesday to get sandwiches for officers in Winslow Township, a suburb of Philadelphia. His mother says he told her he wanted the officers to rest so they could protect the town.
Police made the boy an honorary officer and gave him a special shirt and badges. He also got a ride home in a police car with lights and siren.

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SALAMANCA, N.Y. (AP) -- Do superheroes drink beer?
WIVB-TV in Buffalo reports that police in western New York say they're looking for a man who was wearing a Batman costume and a Captain America mask when he walked out of a convenience store Tuesday with two 18-packs of beer without paying for them.
Police in Salamanca, near the Pennsylvania border, say the store's surveillance cameras show the man wearing the combined outfit as he carries an 18-pack in each hand.
The man, described by police as in his 20s, apparently made his getaway on foot.

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LONDON (AP) - An easyJet flight from London's Gatwick Airport to Belfast has faced an hourlong delay after two crew members got into an epic shouting match.
Shocked passengers tweeted about the argument that grew so heated that the two crew members had to be removed from Wednesday's flight.
Dan Lobb, a television presenter on the flight, described the scene as "unreal."
He tweeted: "This is quite incredible. We've all worked with people we don't get on with right? But this tiff means a 1 hr flight is delayed!"
The low-cost carrier confirmed what it called a "verbal disagreement" and apologized to passengers for the inconvenience.
The company said Thursday that the safety and welfare of EasyJet passengers and employees required crew members "to be able to work as a team."

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SEATTLE (AP) - A fan fell into the New York Yankees dugout during their victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, landing on the dugout steps before being corralled by law enforcement.
The incident happened midway through the Yankees' 5-0 win. Manager Joe Girardi said the fan appeared intoxicated and fell into a part of the dugout where no players were at that moment.
"It kind of freaked me out, actually," Girardi said. "I think he tried to jump in, but he was probably not even in a state to be walking."
Girardi said the fan fell twice, landing on his ribs at first then going down again when he tried to stand. The fan was escorted from the stadium by two members of law enforcement.
"Let's just say he shouldn't have really been doing anything," Girardi said.

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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) - Thieves who stole 15 bottles of laundry detergent from a Massachusetts home have made a clean getaway.
New Bedford police Lt. Amos Melo says the homeowner called police Saturday night after returning home and finding that someone had used the stairs leading to the room where the laundry detergent was stored.
Melo tells The Standard-Times the detergent was worth about $250. Nothing else was taken from the home.
He says laundry detergent may seem like an unlikely target for thieves, but it can easily be sold for money, which can be used to buy drugs.
After all, he said, "Everybody can use laundry detergent."

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LAKE CITY, Fla. - A man in Lake City, Florida is facing charges after an unusual incident at his work. 
Police say 29-year-old Russell Francis Gomez showed up late at Krystal, where he works, and soon learned his boss was going to write him up for it. 
That's when he got angry. officers say Gomez started knocking things over, poured cooking oil onto the floor, and then started throwing frozen hamburger patties at his boss. 
Other employees helped get customers out safely, while Gomez reportedly went on his rampage. 
When he tried to go to his car to leave, two customers blocked his car. Witnesses say Gomez spat in one of their faces, before two customers finally got hold of him and held him down until police showed up. 
 

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