Mad Minute stories from Thursday, November 17th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, November 17th

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TAUNTON, Mass. (AP) -- A Massachusetts man who authorities say attempted to use Cheetos to accelerate a fire at his ex-girlfriend's home while she was inside has been convicted of malicious destruction of property.
The Bristol County District Attorney's Office says a jury convicted 31-year-old Shemroy Williams, of Taunton, on Wednesday. He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years behind bars.
Crews responded to a home in March after the woman and her friend reported that Williams was trying to light it on fire.
Authorities say an investigation revealed Williams wedged a propane tank against the house while a fire on the back porch was burning.
Police say they located Williams in the area with two lighters in his pocket and an empty bag of Cheetos. Investigators determined Williams tried to use Cheetos to accelerate the fire.

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DUBOIS, Pa. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania school district superintendent is defending his food service staff over a photo of an overcooked school cafeteria hamburger that was posted online.
A student at DuBois Area High School posted the picture on the town's regional Facebook page to show people what a friend was served at school on Monday.
Superintendent Luke Lansberry says cafeteria workers are required to cook burgers to at least 155 degrees but were cooking burgers to 170 degrees. He says the burger depicted is the only one of 300 served that drew a complaint and wishes the student would have just returned it for a new one.
Lansberry says the burger was provided in a "government commodity" program through a vendor.

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ADZINCE, Serbia (AP) -- Residents of a remote mountain hamlet in southern Serbia admire Vladimir Putin so much that they've decided to rename their village after the Russian president.
Welcome to what locals are now calling Putinovo (Putin's Village in Serbian).
The tiny settlement of about a dozen houses - called Adzince for centuries - is scattered among the dense greenery 250 kilometers (150 miles) south of Belgrade. Villagers made their decision about two weeks ago at an inn over shots of local plum brandy.
"Putin is an excellent statesman," said Milutin Petrusic, a 67-year-old resident. "Putin is doing a lot for our people ... we believe he deserves this."
The name Adzince is of Turkish origin and is no longer suitable, Petrusic declared.
The move reflects a widespread mood in Serbia, where many view Putin as a hero and Russia as an ally and a friend. The two Slavic nations have traditionally close ties and share common Orthodox Christian religion.
Although Serbia's government wants to join the European Union, many Serbs actually admire Putin for what they view as his resistance to U.S. and Western global domination. Many also feel the West backed Serbia's enemies during the 1990s Balkan wars, when the country was bombed by NATO to stop the fighting in Kosovo.
In Adzince - close to the Serbian border with Kosovo - locals are thankful that Russia has sided with Serbia in its rejection of the former Serbian province's 2008 declaration of independence.
"Putin always defends Serbs and Serbia," said Malisa Petrusic, a 63-year-old relative. "We wanted to thank him."
And so they did. A wooden sign pointing the way to the village up a dirt road already reads "Putinovo," even though the name change still has not been formally approved by municipal authorities.
Locally-produced fruit brandy has also been dubbed "Putinovka." Villager Goran Radosavljevic wore a T-shirt with the Russian president's image as he proudly showed wooden barrels filled with "Putinovka."
The Petrusic cousins say almost the entire village has supported the name change, which they hope will attract visitors and revive the area's muddy isolation. Half-empty during the winter, Adzince resembles other remote rural areas in the Balkan country, worn out and impoverished during the decades of crisis that followed the Balkan wars.
Once a self-sustaining hamlet, Adzince was rich in cattle and agriculture. Now it is home mostly to elderly people who survive on meager pensions with a few goats and pigs, their houses crumbling for lack of care.
Villagers still have to submit a formal request to rename Adzince to the local council, but they say that takes money they don't have.
"This is Putinovo and will remain Putinovo," Malisa Petrusic said. "So be it."

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HINGHAM, Mass. (AP) -- Authorities say a South Carolina man has appeared in a Massachusetts court to resolve a drunken driving case more than 20 years after he was arrested on the charge.
Hingham police Sgt. Steven Dearth says 54-year-old Alexander Richey on Wednesday admitted to sufficient facts for a finding of guilt in court. The case was continued without a finding for a year and will be dismissed if Richey stays out of trouble.
Dearth says Richey contacted a local attorney last week to clear up the case, which has been open since his July 1994 arrest. He says Richey never showed for a court date that month.
He says Richey returned because he couldn't renew his license due to the outstanding warrant.
Dearth says Richey will serve unsupervised probation in South Carolina.

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NEW YORK (AP) - The Coast Guard says it's received reports of a whale near the Statue of Liberty.
Petty Officer Frank Iannazzo-Simmons says the whale was spotted around 8 a.m. Thursday near Liberty Island in New York Harbor.
The Coast Guard put out an advisory telling mariners to watch out and avoid contact with the whale.
Boats of all sizes frequent the area, including Staten Island ferries and cargo vessels.
It wasn't clear what type of whale it was.

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NEWPORT, Vt. (AP) - Police say a best man who disliked the bride disappeared after a Vermont wedding, getting drunk, stealing a golf cart, crashing it, and later showing up covered in blood.
The Caledonian Record reports 29-year-old Travis Bass, of Boston, pleaded guilty to unlawful mischief stemming from the Sept. 11 incident. He's already paid over $5,000 to the Jay Peak resort for damage to the six-seat golf cart.
Police said Bass was driving the cart when it crashed on the 11th tee of the golf course.
A police affidavit said Bass was the best man at the wedding and that he was anxious about it, "not liking the bride." He took off with the golf cart. Three hours later, he showed up covered in blood and with a broken hand.

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VISAKHAPATNAM, India (AP) - A stray dog was 2 not out on Thursday after interrupting the second cricket test match between India and England.
England bowler Stuart Broad's final over before the traditional break for tea was cut short as ground staff tried - and failed - to get the brown and white dog off the field. Outrun by their canine opponent, increasingly desperate tactics included throwing a shoe in its direction.
Just when officials thought the dog had disappeared, it returned for a second performance with the umpires cutting the session short and the players going off for tea.
The hosts ended in control of the match - if not the dog - at 317-4 in their first innings.
As well as forcing an early tea, the dog also left its mark on the field in another way, using the lush outfield as a toilet.

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BRENTWOOD, N.H. (AP) - A kitten is safe after spending five days stuck in a tree in New Hampshire.
Teresa Franks, of Brentwood, credits tree workers and the Brentwood police chief for helping pull the kitten to safety.
She tells WMUR-TV her children named the kitten "Pickles," because he managed to escape from a big pickle.

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A United Airlines captain settled a politically-charged scuffle with a heartfelt plea to his passengers.
On a flight from San Francisco to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, United says a verbal argument broke out between two passengers.
However, they did not comment on the nature of the argument.
So the pilot decided to diffuse the situation himself by asking his passengers to come together.
Over the loudspeaker, he said, "if you're gonna be in a metal tube at 35,00 feet to bring up politics. I understand everybody has their opinions, that's fine. If you support him, great. If you don't, I understand. However, we're all here to go Puerto Vallarta, of course to have a good time, and what I do ask is that as people we have the common decency to respect each other's decisions and to get along on this 3 hour 15 minute flight so that we can have a good time and get down there. Nobody wants to argue. Nobody's going to change their minds by arguing. And let's keep our opinions to ourselves, on this particular matter, at this particular time. When cooler heads prevail and we can talk and realize that we're all human beings and we can all stick together and we can all pull for this country in our own way, then that's what we should do. If there's anybody that has a problem with this -- that needs to vent, or rant, or rave -- there's another flight tomorrow. You're not going to be on this one. I hope that's clear."
Everyone on the plane followed his speech with an applause. 
The flight went on to land safely in Puerto Vallarta without any further disruptions.

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PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A Pennsylvania man whose company scoops up pet poop admitted buying fake Secret Service identification cards and badges online from China to impress women on a dating site.
Christopher Diiorio, 53, pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to a count of fraudulently using an official seal. He acknowledged the other behavior alleged by federal prosecutors, including flashing an ID card during a traffic stop and trying to use a Secret Service badge to get a government rate for a hotel room.
Diiorio, of Greensburg, remains free on bond and will be sentenced March 9.
He and his attorney, William Difenderfer, wouldn't answer questions about the charges or the motivation for buying the bogus credentials.
Diiorio told the judge he's undergoing counseling for "marital" issues "and over this situation" but was of sound mind and understood the charges and consequences of his plea.
The investigation began when Reserve Township police said Diiorio flashed the Secret Service ID card after an officer pulled him over for a faulty brake light July 22. The hotel incident occurred a month earlier.
Diiorio told the officer "he was a U.S. Secret Service agent who had just returned from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland," Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Hull said in court Thursday. The credential said Diiorio was a "senior special agent in the protective services division," Hull said.
Further investigation revealed that "Diiorio's first and last name match that of a real Secret Service agent" but nothing else, Hull said.
Diiorio later confessed that he bought the IDs and badges for $100 online in March 2014 when he also "began to identify himself as a federal agent on online dating sites," Hull told the judge. In reality, Diiorio owned and operated Doodle Scoopers, based in the Pittsburgh suburb of Bethel Park.
Diiorio had also begun buying handguns and rifles, including an AR-15, like those used to equip Secret Service agents, though he's not accused of doing anything illegal with the weapons. Because Diiorio's crime is a felony, he'll have to surrender the weapons, Hull said.
Authorities haven't named the company that created and sold the credentials.
The fraudulent seal charge carries up to five years in prison, but under sentencing guidelines that take into account Diiorio's lack of a recent criminal history, he'll likely face probation.

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