Mad Minute stories from Friday, December 2nd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Friday, December 2nd

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BOSTON (AP) -- Santa Claus or Santa Thaws?
Boston city officials say they're postponing the opening of a European-style "Boston Winter" outdoor wonderland because it's unseasonably warm.
City Hall Plaza was being transformed into a North Pole, complete with an ice skating path tucked among chocolate fountains and wooden chalets selling Christmas ornaments. But hours before it was to open to the public, Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh temporarily called it off.
Walsh tweeted: "Warm weather in December (climate change?) caused ice skating path to melt, postponing today's opening. Sad!"
City spokeswoman Samantha Ormsby says the path wouldn't freeze amid temperatures hovering around 50 degrees. Usually the city around this time of year is in the 30s or low 40s.
Organizers say they've nudged the grand opening to next Wednesday.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A 4-year-old macaw named "Bird" is an instant celebrity after appearing in a posed booking mug shot in Oregon with his unfortunate owner.
Craig Buckner left Bird in a tree outside court in Washington County while he went in for an appearance Thursday in an ongoing drug and theft case, said Sgt. Bob Ray, the sheriff's spokesman. Buckner was not expecting to be arrested, but when he fell asleep while waiting for his case to be called, he was taken for a drug urine test and failed, Ray said.
When he realized he was going to be arrested, Buckner got very upset and deputies finally realized why.
"He was very concerned about Bird the bird," Ray said. "Very distraught."
Bird was 30 feet up the tree, Ray said, and it was getting dark and rainy. Temperatures were in the low 40s.
Deputies realized there was no way Bird - a tropical parrot - would survive overnight, but he would not come to them.
They eventually brought Buckner outside and removed the restraints from one of his hands.
Bird immediately flew down to Buckner and landed on his shoulder.
The macaw stayed with deputies for several hours and feasted on peanuts until they reached a friend who could pick Bird up.
While they waited, deputies let Buckner's feathered friend sit on his shoulder in a set up booking shot, just for kicks.
They also took a real booking photo of Buckner without Bird - but the macaw still managed to photo bomb it with a few of his colorful feathers, Ray said.
"It's quite funny," he said. "How can you resist that?"
The department is proud of how it landed the Bird, even if it did take extra time on a busy day, Ray said.
"We're not all robots. We're humans, we love animals and we want to do the right thing," he said.
"For the animal, and for Mr. Buckner too."

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PENFIELD, N.Y. (AP) -- A man rescued from an oven vent at a western new York pizzeria is now facing burglary charges.
The Monroe County Sheriff's office says deputies arrived at Pontillo's Pizzeria in suburban Rochester at 3:45 a.m. Friday after someone reported a man yelling for help. They found 53-year-old Richard Graham of Rochester stuck in ductwork that led from an oven to a roof vent.
After Penfield firefighters pulled him out, Graham was checked out at a hospital before being arraigned in town court on burglary and criminal mischief charges. The sheriff's office says Graham caused over $2,000 in damage to the restaurant.
Graham was sent to the county jail without bail because he's considered a repeat offender.
It couldn't be immediately determined if he has a lawyer to comment.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A retiring Pennsylvania Turnpike worker decided brutal honesty was the way to go when he filled out an exit survey after a 35-year career.
Instead of emailing it only to the human resources department, he hit the "reply all" button, sending his critique of the operation to more than 2,000 colleagues.
Midlevel manager Michael Stuban tells The Philadelphia Daily News (goo.gl/d88sVR) that the agency asked for honesty and he delivered. He made it clear that he liked his job but thought the turnpike commission was run by "out of touch" executives taking care of politically connected friends.
"Jobs/promotions are filled by the politicians, (and) it's who you know, not what you know. Positions (are) created for people who are not qualified," he wrote in the questionnaire.
Stuban, 58, said he retired a few years early because of the growing tide of low morale. He regrets that agency leaders don't seem eager to investigate his complaints, but instead fired back a tart reply.
Turnpike Commission chairman Sean Logan, a former state senator, was not amused by Stuban's remarks. He sent a "reply-all" note of his own that said he was glad he had never met him.
"He did miss the point," Stuban said. "If it was an effective company and someone told you there are problems and no morale, you don't have to believe me, but maybe someone should check into it."
Stuban is now enjoying life at his home along the Ohio River in western Pennsylvania, with plans to travel and volunteer at his church.

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Beer brewed in New York and bearing the iconic "I Love NY" logo will be distributed in China starting next year.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that Two Dragons beer brewed by the Syracuse-based Empire Brewing Co. will arrive in China in February. He says the first officially licensed "I Love NY" beer will introduce the Empire State's thriving craft beverage industry to a global audience.
The ale-style beer is brewed with hops grown in New York state and Chinese black tea. The bottle caps and labels bear the official state tourism campaign's "I Love NY" logo with a red heart between the "I'' and "NY".
Empire Brewing owner David Katleski says he was inspired to create Two Dragons during a state-sponsored trade mission to China last year.

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VICTORVILLE, Calif. (AP) - Police in California have discovered more than 200 pounds of heroin worth about $11 million in a tractor trailer they pulled over for speeding.
The California Highway Patrol tells KABC-TV the truck was stopped Thursday morning in the high desert city of Victorville, about 80 miles from Los Angeles.
Highway Patrol officers say they became suspicious when the driver began acting nervous.
The CHP says a police dog sniffed out the drugs in the rear of the tractor-trailer rig. The drugs were packed in boxes marked with labels indicating they contained skin-care cream.
Authorities believe the truck was headed to Canada.
The driver was arrested for investigation of possession and transportation of narcotics.

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A southern New Mexico school district is trying to entice students to ride the bus with free televisions, drones, and tablets.
KVIA-TV in El Paso, Texas reports the Las Cruces Public School District is offering prizes to students who ride the bus on two specific days to increase ridership.
The district is working with a school bus contractor to offer more than $3,000 worth of prizes to students who ride the bus on Thursday and February 8. Those are the only two days a year the state looks at ridership to determine funding.
District Transportation Director David Del Torro says the district needs the state funding to offset the decrease transportation dollars.
The raffle items were provided by STS of New Mexico, the school bus contractor.
District officials say they have overflow buses ready.

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Construction on the world's first full-sized Titanic replica has started in China, a country with a well-documented fascination with the tale of the ill-fated ocean liner.
The 300-meter (984-foot) vessel being built by the Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Co. is scheduled for completion by the end of 2018 and will remain permanently docked as a tourist attraction in landlocked Sichuan province. Wuchang executives told a provincial newspaper that its liner will faithfully replicate the original Titanic, with a dining hall, theater, luxury first-class cabins and swimming pool.
The vessel, however, won't be able to sail away from the reservoir near the hilly Sichuan village where it'll be docked - although guests onboard will be able to dine and stay overnight.
The original Titanic sank in 1912 after striking an iceberg, killing more than 1,500 people.
The 1997 film by James Cameron was one of the first foreign films to enter modern China and became such a massive hit that then-president Jiang Zemin reportedly recommended that the entire Communist Party Politburo see it.
The 2012 3D-remake broke box office records in China and to this day, a significant portion of Chinese of a certain generation can sing "My Heart Will Go On," the Celine Dion theme song.
"Titanic" is a story of a poor young man and a rich girl, which more accords with Chinese audiences' taste. This kind of plot has a long history in the popular culture of China," opined People's Daily in 2012. The Communist Party's official mouthpiece also urged China's budding film industry to copy Cameron's "professional spirit."
To film his 1997 title, Cameron built - and sank - a replica constructed at a scale of 90 percent.
Wuchang's ship could be the first full-scale replica after recent reports emerged that Australian tycoon Clive Palmer's plans to build a working replica, the Titanic II, have been delayed.
Wuchang, the shipbuilder, is owned by China's central government and builds nuclear submarines, China Daily quoted an executive involved in the project as saying.

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(Daily Mail) - A 25-year-old Polish man who was declared dead after drinking too much vodka woke up and found himself in a morgue. 
And rather than go home to sleep after the terrifying ordeal, the man went straight back out to re-join his friends at the pub.
The man, called Kamil, passed out after indulging on the spirit in Kamienna Góra, a town in the south-west of the country.
He went into cardiac arrest and was later pronounced dead.  
Paramedics arrived and arranged for him to be taken to a local morgue.
Once there, he was placed inside a refrigerator.
However he started to come round and later that day a guard at the hospital was shocked to hear noises coming from the freezer door.
The guard opened the door and found the naked man who asked for a blanket, local media reported. 
Police were called and after a medical check-up, Kamil was free to leave the morgue.
Having cheated death, the 25-year-old then headed straight back to the pub.
The account was similar to an incident in Russia last year where a man who had been partying in the Khansanky region in the country's far east also found himself in a morgue.
After sobering up, he found himself locked inside a refrigerator and starting pounding on the door.  
Eventually a security guard heard the noises and found the panicked man who ran from the room before he was questioned by police and then released.  
In 2014, Polish woman Janina Kolkiewicz, 91, spent 11 hours in cold storage in a mortuary after being declared dead.
Mortuary staff were astonished to notice movement in her body bag while it was in storage.
After being released, Ms. Kolkiewicz warmed up with a hearty bowl of soup and two pancakes. 

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Sarasota, FL - A bakery in southwest Florida is offering a "sweet" reward after the shop was vandalized.
Sift Bakehouse in Sarasota was vandalized Wednesday night.
The owners believe a BB gun was used to shatter the shop's large picture glass window.
The bakery owner decided to put a little icing on the bitter sweet situation.
Instead of offering money for information leading to an arrest, the bakery owners are offering a free cake each month for life.
The bakery is also holding a "window buster sale" to raise funds to replace the $900 window.
In total, police say the damage is about $1,000.

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