Mad Minute stories from Monday, August 29th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, August 29th

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SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) -- A dwarf billy goat gave new meaning to the word "scapegoat" when he busted out a surprisingly slippery Clydesdale that went on the lam in California for several days.
The nearly 1-ton horse named Budweiser, who goes by "Buddy," was safely wrangled back into his pen Sunday in the Santa Cruz Mountains on California's Central Coast.
The goat named Lancelot knows how to butt open the stable gate, and did just that Wednesday, letting his best friend escape, owner Tamara Schmitz told the Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper.
Another Clydesdale, Harry, also fled and was nabbed in a meadow the next day. But Buddy is more wary and wily, Schmitz said.
"Buddy's very elusive," she said. "He's not like other horses. He's not attracted by meadows and other horses. He can stay hidden."
That made him very hard to find. He eluded volunteers from around the Santa Cruz area for five days, with evidence like tracks and loud snorts suggesting he was as far as 3 miles away.
The owners even trotted out Lancelot and Harry to try to lure back Buddy, but he didn't fall for it. They just hoped the horse would stay away from Highway 17, a busy and dangerous road running through the area.
A pair of searchers on horseback finally found Buddy hiding amid manzanita shrubs Sunday.
"When we got him back in the pen, he was particularly frisky and playful and happy," Schmitz said. "I think he was glad to be back."

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STOCKHOLM (AP) -- More than 300 wild reindeer have been killed by lightning in central Norway.
The Norwegian Environment Agency has released eerie images showing a jumble of reindeer carcasses scattered across a small area on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau. The agency says 323 animals were killed, including 70 calves, in the lightning storm Friday.
Agency spokesman Kjartan Knutsen told The Associated Press it's not uncommon for reindeer or other wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes but this was an unusually deadly event.
"We have not heard about such numbers before," he said Monday.
He said reindeer tend to stay very close to each other in bad weather, which could explain how so many were killed at once.
"I don't know if there were several lightning strikes," he said. "But it happened in one moment."
Knutsen said the agency is now discussing what to do with the dead animals. Normally, they are just left where they fall to let nature take its course, he said.
Thousands of reindeer migrate across the barren Hardangervidda plateau as the seasons change.

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NEW BUFFALO, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan Welcome Center doubled as an animal rescue center, as employees sought and saved a cat that escaped from its cross-country bound family.
Milkie, a 14-year-old tabby, was traveling in a moving truck with Graham Skelly and his 10-year-old son, Simon, from Seattle to Arlington, Virginia. The father says they stopped Aug. 21 at the travelers' center in New Buffalo, near the Indiana line.
Skelly says Milkie, who was leashed, became scared by a dog and ran into woods. The Skellys searched for two hours before leaving empty-handed.
Center employee Alyson Payne says workers finally safely trapped Milkie on Friday.
Graham Skelly drove from Virginia to reclaim the pet Sunday. He says by phone - amid Milkie's meows - that the family is "grateful" for the rescue.

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey police say a driver playing "Pokemon Go" on his cellphone crashed his SUV into a parked police cruiser.
The crash happened at around 3:40 a.m. Saturday in Jersey City.
Authorities say no one was in the cruiser at the time, and the 42-year-old SUV driver wasn't injured. But the Jersey City man was cited for careless driving and other motor vehicle violations.
His name wasn't released.

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BERLIN (AP) -- Using giant tires from an industrial fertilizer spreader and scrap steel, a German man has built a bicycle weighing 940 kilograms (2,072 pounds) that he plans to pedal into the record books as the world's heaviest rideable bike.
Frank Dose's bike already outweighs the current Guinness World Record holder's 860-kilogram (1,900-pound) contraption.
But the dpa news agency reported Monday that Dose plans to add weight to boost his creation to 1,200 kilograms (2,646 pounds) before attempting the 200-meter (656-foot) ride Saturday.
"I want (the weight) to be four digits," the 49-year-old from Schleswig-Holstein told dpa.
Dose has been building his bike since March. It sports tires that are 1.53 meters (5 feet) in diameter. It's reportedly proved surprisingly easy to ride.
"It's a sensational bike," says his wife, Astrid.

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - A GPS device inside a stolen carton of cigarettes led to the arrest of two robbery suspects in Maryland.
The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown reports that 42-year-old Shawn Bullard and 45-year-old Warren Strouse entered pleas this week in connection with the December 2015 robbery of a Hagerstown store.
Hagerstown police say they had placed GPS devices on the carton of cigarettes with the store manager's permission following a series of robberies in November.
When the robbery occurred the following month, the store clerk offered one of the suspects the box of cigarettes, which he took. Police later located the suspects after tracking the GPS signal on the carton.
Bullard was sentenced to 12 years in prison with six years suspended; Strouse was sentenced to 12 years with eight years suspended.

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LONDON (AP) - One of Britain's leading broadcasters has blacked out its programs for an hour in hopes of spurring viewers to get some exercise.
ITV shut down broadcasts on several of its channels Saturday morning as part of its effort to entice UK citizens to sports clubs, which are being opened for free this weekend as part of a national event called "I Am Team GB."
Many viewers lauded ITV's challenge to couch potatoes, describing on social media the activities they'd been inspired to do.
Others, predictably, stuck to their sofas and poked fun at the gesture, describing the blank screens as the best entertainment they'd ever seen on ITV. One viewer said his remote-control thumb had a good workout.
ITV is sponsoring the weekend's sports-promotion activities alongside the National Lottery.

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - An 18-year-old girl who had escaped from an Australian correction center responded to police after her mug shot was posted on Facebook.
She asked them to please, use a better picture of her. She even provided the picture for them.
Amy Sharp escaped from Surry Hills Corrective Services Cell Complex on August 19th. So the police released her mug shots to the media and asked the public to be on the watch for her.
That was when Sharp went on a TV station's Facebook page and asked them, very politely, to use a different picture of her.
As one might imagine, her post brought in a huge number of comments.
It also raised the idea that police might be able to use her posting to find out her whereabouts.
That might have worked, actually:
She was taken to Newtown police station for further questioning, a police spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.  

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Police responding to a call about a burglary at a Staten Island home encountered an unusual suspect - a three-foot-long alligator, and it was in the bathtub. 
The reptile was hanging out in the empty tub when police responding to the anonymous call arrived at the abandoned Mariners Harbor home.
Animal care workers took the gator for evaluation. They're also looking into how the gator got into the tub.
The NYPD tweeted responding officers were "surprised" by the reptile, but no one was injured. The department tweeted photos of cops smiling next to the crate.

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If you happened to see a giant potato being hauled on a barge on the Hudson River Wednesday, your eyes were not deceiving you. 
The 6-ton spud, resting atop a tractor-trailer on a barge pulled by a tugboat, has been making cross-country trips since 2012, when the Idaho Potato Commission strutted it out nationwide to celebrate its 75th anniversary. 
The tater's national tour was such a hit the commission opted to make it an annual event. The potato is the equivalent of 32,346 medium-sized Idaho potatoes and is 1,102 times heavier than the largest potato ever grown. 
It travels the country promoting the certified heart-healthy Idaho Potato, and its mission is to help small charities in town and cities with its Big Helping Program, according to the Idaho Potato Commission's website. 
Other fun facts: the massive tater would make 30,325 servings of mashed potatoes and more than 1.5 million average-sized french fries. 
Idaho couple Chris Schofield and Sharolyn Spruce, who have toiled on hundreds of big custom projects and designs, built the enormous tater with help from several contractors, according to the Idaho Press-Tribune. The duo said the monstrous spud, made of steel, plywood, foams and concrete, was the first "vegetable" they'd ever built. 
The next stop on its grand tour is Picatinny Arsenal in Dover, New Jersey, Aug. 26 before a trip to West Point and then to Plymouth, Indiana, for the 50th annual Blueberry Fest.


 

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