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

Mad Minute stories from Friday, November 25th

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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) -- The State Highway Patrol says troopers found 71 pounds of marijuana and other drugs wrapped as Christmas gifts in a vehicle that was stopped for a driving violation in northwest Ohio.
The patrol says the drugs seized Monday on Interstate 80 in Wood County, south of Toledo, have an estimated street value of $330,000.
A trooper stopped the rented sport utility vehicle for following another vehicle too closely, and that led to a search of the SUV with help from a K-9. Investigators found the drugs in 10 gift-wrapped boxes.
The patrol says the 31-year-old driver from Eureka, California, was jailed on suspicion of drug trafficking. He has a court appearance scheduled next week.

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MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- An Arizona woman who accidentally texted a stranger an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner made good on her offer, greeting the teen visitor with a hug and an oven full of food after their story swept through social media.
Wanda Dench prepped two turkeys and set up a long table in the backyard of her suburban Phoenix home Thursday before she and her family headed outside to wait for Jamal Hinton, 17, The Arizona Republic reported.
"I'm so happy you came," Dench said as they embraced.
"I am too," Hinton said.
The mix-up happened after Dench included what she thought was her grandson's number on a group text last week inviting some relatives to dinner. But he had changed his number and forgot to tell her.
Instead, the text went to Hinton. They realized the mistake after the two exchanged pictures, but Hinton asked if he could "still get a plate." Dench responded, "Of course you can. That's what grandmas do."
The exchange gained attention after Hinton posted it on Twitter. Dench's phone number was not hidden in the photos, so she learned how many people wanted a place at her table.
She said about 600 people texted her asking if they, too, could grab a plate this Thanksgiving.
"At first it was a slow trickle," Dench's daughter, Lisa Dench said. "But then they came rushing in. I scrolled and scrolled and said to my mom, 'You've got a lot of love. We've got to make this into something.'"
Dench and her family said they think people were moved by the feel-good story amid the tension following the presidential election.
"We feel like it was fate that this occurred during such a rough time and right before Thanksgiving," Lisa Dench said.
Hinton told the newspaper that Wanda Dench was "very open and welcoming."
"I'm thankful for all the nice people in the world," he said. "I never met her ... and she welcomed me into her house, so that shows me how great of a person she is."
They even took selfies together and posted them on social media.

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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Attorney Andres Gil Dominguez may have had bigger cases, but he's never had bigger clients.
A city prosecutor's office has authorized Gil Dominguez to represent three elephants in captivity at a former zoo in Argentina's capital. He's demanding that Mara, Kuki and Pupi be transferred to a reserve abroad where they can have a better quality of life.
"The lockup of the elephants violates their rights and constitutes abuse punishable by law," Gil Dominguez said Thursday.
The case follows a notable 2014 ruling in Argentina that determined an orangutan named Sandra was entitled to some of the same rights as humans.
The 140-year-old zoo where Sandra and the elephants have lived for most of their lives closed its doors this year and authorities announced that hundreds of its animals would be set free as it transformed into a park. But officials there argue the three elephants would not survive if set free into the wild.
"These are animals that were born or have lived most of their life in captivity," said Rosario Espina, director of biodiversity at the Buenos Aires eco-park.
"What we can do is improve their well-being in their infrastructure and handling. But they can't be set free, because they'd die."
Many of the former zoo's enclosures are considered inhumane by modern-day standards. All three elephants live in a small treeless site in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires near busy avenues and buildings.
Mara hails from Asia and was rescued from a local circus. Espina said experts have recommended against the transfer of the 52-year-old elephant because its advanced age could pose a health risk. Kuki and Pupi come from Africa and now are in their 30's and have more possibilities of being transferred to a sanctuary abroad.
But their transfer will depend on finding the right conditions, carrying out health exams and obtaining sanitary permits in a process that could take up to two years, Espina said.
The eco-park managed by the city of Buenos Aires plans to improve the enclosure where the elephants live.

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YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) -- As many Americans hit the road on Thanksgiving, one baby couldn't wait to join them.
Firefighters were called to help a woman in labor in a car on a suburban New York highway on Thursday afternoon. But the baby was born before they got there six minutes later.
It happened on the Sprain Brook Parkway in Yonkers, just north of New York City. Fire Lt. Peter Connelly tells The Journal News the woman gave birth in the reclined front seat of an SUV. The father was with her.
Connelly says firefighters checked the baby girl's vital signs, cut her umbilical cord, made sure she was warm and helped her mother stay calm. Both were soon taken to a hospital.
Connelly says the baby appeared healthy.

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DETROIT (AP) -- Aretha Franklin's lengthy version of the national anthem ahead of the Detroit Lions-Minnesota Vikings matchup may have been as much a topic at Thanksgiving dinner as the game itself.
Franklin's "Star Spangled Banner" clocked in at 4-minutes, 35 seconds on Thursday. That's compared to about 2-minutes, 20 seconds for Whitney Houston's iconic rendition of the song ahead of the Super Bowl in 1991.
Franklin quickly started trending on social media. One Twitter user joked that there was enough time to cook a turkey, eat and do the dishes during the performance. Others opined that the 74-year-old "Queen of Soul" had earned the right to sing the anthem for as long as she wanted.
The CBS production team got in on the fun during the game by including Franklin in a time of possession graphic .

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Talk about a memorable trip to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The New York Police Department says an officer who was shot on duty last year proposed to his girlfriend at Thursday's parade. And the NYPD says in a tweet, "She said yes!!!"
The NYPD tweeted a photo of the happy moment, which unfolded in front of the NYPD band. The Daily News first reported on the tweet and says Officer Andrew Dossi's family confirms he proposed.
Dossi was shot in the elbow and back while responding to a holdup at a Bronx grocery store in January 2015. A fellow officer was shot in the arm and chest during the encounter.
The shooting suspect has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges.

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VIENNA (AP) -- The arrival of snow equipment is normally no big deal in Seefeld, an Alpine skiing resort town in Austria's Tyrol province. But this time, Mayor Werner Frieser took delivery of a snowcat personally, in an impromptu welcoming ceremony.
That's because the tracked snow vehicle made a 2,000-kilometer (1,200-mile) detour before reaching its destination. It was originally shipped to the town of Seefeld in northern Germany, a place with the same name but with little snow - and no mountains.
State broadcaster ORF says the piste-groomer achieved cult status in Germany after making headlines there. It arrived in the right Seefeld on Friday, with Frieser and other dignitaries turning out to receive it.

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Miami, FL - A Florida woman who thought her house guests overstayed their welcome was arrested after she shot one of them, authorities said.
Alana Annette Savell, 32, was arrested Monday on a charge of aggravated battery with a firearm, Bay County Sheriff's Office officials said.
A woman told authorities that she had gone to Savell's home with a friend. Savell said they started drinking and were getting too loud, and said she didn't want them in her home.
Savell armed herself with a handgun and started shooting at their feet from the doorway of the home, officials said. The woman was hit in the legs and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Savell's boyfriend was also hit in the leg with a bullet during the shooting, authorities said.
The boyfriend allegedly told authorities that he told Savell that if someone is told to leave their property three times, she is to get the gun and shoot it at the ground. If that doesn't work, she's supposed to shoot them in the leg.
Savell was booked into jail. It's unknown if she's hired an attorney.

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Two giant pandas born in the U.S. are suffering from culture shock on their introduction to China - demanding cookies and responding only to English commands.
The twin female pandas, Mei Lun and Mei Huan, were born at Zoo Atlanta in 2013 but handed back to China this month under the rules of the "panda diplomacy" program under which China loans the endangered animals to other countries as a gesture of friendship.
The twins' parents, Lun Lun and Yang Yang, have been on loan to Zoo Atlanta since 1999, and Mei Lun and Mei Huan were the first twin pandas born in the U.S. to survive.
But Chinese media reported this week that the twin sisters were having problems adjusting to their new home at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where they have been since November 5.
"Returned giant panda twins prefer western lifestyle," proclaimed state news agency Xinhua in a headline.
"The naughty twins refused to eat traditional Chinese food like steamed bread of corn, and preferred American biscuits instead," Xinhua elaborated.
Mei Lun and Mei Huan also do not understand the local Chinese dialect and only respond to basic commands in English, the Communist Party-run People's Daily reported.
Researchers were trying to wean them off cookies, the newspaper added.

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BERLIN (AP) - A German court has ruled breast implants are no impediment to a woman becoming a police officer.
The ruling by the administrative court in the western city of Gelsenkirchen Wednesday came after a 32-year-old woman appealed a police doctor's assessment that her silicone implants were likely to rupture during physically demanding law-enforcement work.
But the court heard expert testimony there was less than a 20 percent risk of an implant ripping or other painful problems, the dpa news agency reported.
Nationwide police guidance says women with implants are not suited for police duty because of the injury risk, but other courts have also ruled otherwise.
A Berlin court in 2014, for example, rejected the argument that protective gear would put enough pressure on a recruit's chest to cause health problems.

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