Mad Minute stories for December 19, 2016 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories for December 19, 2016

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Police rescue 'frozen' woman who turns out to be mannequin

HUDSON, N.Y. (AP) -- Police in New York broke a car window to rescue a woman who turned out to be an extremely realistic mannequin.

The unusual incident happened Friday morning in the city of Hudson.

The Times Union of Albany reports (http://bit.ly/2hELLPL ) that a caller told police there was an elderly woman "frozen to death" in a parked car.

Officers rushed to the scene and found what appeared to be a woman sitting in a car's front passenger seat wearing an oxygen mask.

A sergeant busted a rear window, opened the door and discovered that the woman was a realistic mannequin.

The car owner arrived and said he uses the dummy for his job selling medical training aids.

The police chief says the owner was "incredulous" that police broke the window to rescue the mannequin.

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Rare plant named after rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- California researchers have named a newly discovered rare plant after Jimi Hendrix.

The plant, found in Baja California, Mexico, has been christened Dudleya hendrixii , or "Hendrix's liveforever."

Liveforevers are a kind of succulent with enormous lifespans.

This one is a stalky plant less than a foot tall with pinkish-white flowers that dies in summer and re-sprouts in fall.

San Diego State University says a former graduate student, Mark Dodero, discovered the plant - supposedly while listening to Hendrix's song "Voodoo Child."

The university says Dodero and Stephen McCabe of the University of California, Santa Cruz, decided to name it for the late rock guitarist.

However, unlike Hendrix's music, the plant is in peril. San Diego State says its two-acre habitat is threatened by farming, off-road vehicles and development.

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Inflatable love doll gift to minister sparks furor in Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Chileans are in an uproar over a Cabinet minister being given an inflatable sex doll with a note saying "to stimulate the economy" taped over its mouth.

The furor erupted after photos of Economy Minister Luis Cespedes posing with the blow-up doll circulated on social media.

President Michelle Bachelet herself weighed in on Twitter, calling the joke gift misogynist and an affront to her government's goal of promoting respect for women.

Cespedes was given the doll by Roberto Fantuzzi, head of the Chilean exporters association Asexma, at its year-end dinner. The largely male politicians and business leaders present, including former Organization of American States leader Jose Miguel Insulza, laughed as a smiling Cespedes posed with the naked female doll on his arm.

In Chile, it is a tradition for the leader of Asexma to give creative gifts to guests at its annual dinner, but some attendees scrambled to distance themselves from the gift after social media exploded with charges of sexism. They said Fantuzzi went too far.

"One laughs because one is in awkward situation, but we are all aware that it was a blunder that we are sorry for," said Alejandro Guiller, a dinner attendee who may run for president in 2017 for the governing party.

Cespedes said he was sorry Wednesday, and Insulza "lamented and rejected" what had happened at the dinner.

"I think that beyond asking for forgiveness, this demonstrates that in Chile there is still machismo, sexism and in some cases even misogyny," Bachelet tweeted.

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Resident chases Christmas thieves with metal pipe

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Two Florida men are spending the holidays in jail, thanks to observant neighbors who spotted them taking Christmas gifts from a nearby home and another homeowner who chased them with a metal pipe.

The Polk County Sheriff's department announced that a Lakeland resident heard a loud noise Wednesday morning and called another neighbor, who looked outside and saw the men taking gifts from a nearby home. The neighbor yelled and they fled in a car.

Lakeland police and sheriff's deputies tracked them down. They bailed from the car and ran into a home, but the homeowner chased them out with a metal pipe.

Authorities arrested 18-year-old James Davis and 21-year-old Antonio Thomas. Both face multiple charges and remained in the Polk County Jail Friday. Records don't list attorneys for them.

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Booby found on UK beach flown back to Caribbean home

LONDON (AP) -- Norman the booby bird may have clocked up the most unlikely air miles in aviation history.

The red-footed booby, a native of tropical zones, was discovered on a southern English beach Sept. 4, some 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) from his nearest Caribbean habitat. It was first recorded sighting of the species in Britain.

Named Norman by his rescuers, the starving, dehydrated bird spent months under heat lamps as a Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wildlife center nursed him back to health.

Wildlife officials said Saturday that the bird is back where he belongs, a Cayman Islands nature reserve following a 12-hour British Airways flight Thursday with a veterinary escort. The pilot, Capt. Shaun Griffiths, described Norman as "by far the most unusual" passenger he's ever had.

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Man finds 2 pounds of heroin in car seized by Ohio police

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A Kentucky man bothered by a rattle in a car he'd recently bought at an Ohio auto auction has found 2 pounds of heroin in a secret compartment inside the vehicle.

WCPO-TV reports (http://bit.ly/2h8fQ92 ) the man drove the Volkswagen Jetta for several weeks before discovering the heroin beneath the front passenger seat.

Investigators found more than 6 ½ pounds of heroin in the car eight months ago after the Ohio State Highway Patrol arrested a former Mexican law enforcement officer who said a drug cartel forced him to drive the drugs across the country.

A Highway Patrol spokesman says the car was thoroughly searched before it was released to the auction.

The auction company has agreed to take the car back.

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Officials: Native dreamcatchers used in meth smuggling bid

COLUMBUS, N.M. (AP) -- A Mexican woman tried to smuggle liquid methamphetamine into the U.S. by hiding it inside Native American-style dreamcatchers when she crossed the border into New Mexico over the weekend, federal officials said Monday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said the woman was detained Sunday in Columbus, New Mexico when she crossed from Puerto Palomas, Mexico, and a drug-sniffing dog alerted customs officers.

The officers found six dreamcatchers in the woman's car with rings made of rubber tubing filled with a liquid that tested positive for methamphetamine, the officials said.

Dreamcatchers, hoops of willow and feathers typically made by American Indians in the Great Plains, are intended to protect sleepers from bad dreams.

The woman, from Nuevo Casas Grandes in Mexico's Chihuahua state, was handed over to Department of Homeland Security agents. Her name was not released.

Officials said she was traveling with her eight-year-old and one-year-old daughters. The children were handed over by agents to a relative of the woman.

Robert Reza, director of the Columbus Port of Entry, said smugglers frequently conceal drugs in soft drink cans, framed artwork and other seemingly innocent items

"This is one of the most unusual smuggling episodes we have ever encountered," Reza said.

U.S. border customs officials in Arizona last June arrested a 19-year-old man after agents he allegedly tried to cross the border with drugs disguised as tamales.

The purported tamales contained about $3,000 worth of methamphetamine, officials said.

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Cops: No clean getaway for twins who stole 180 bars of soap

ABSECON, N.J. (AP) -- Police say twin brothers stole 180 bars of soap from a New Jersey supermarket but weren't able to make a clean getaway.

Absecon police say Kenny and Lenny Stewart dumped 30 six-packs of Dove soap into a large bag and bolted for an exit with employees in pursuit Friday.

The twins were knocked down when they ran into a trash can. Police say they got back onto their feet but then fell again after running into a shopping cart. And as they turned a corner, the twins came face to face with a police officer who was investigating an accident in the parking lot.

The Atlantic City residents are charged with shoplifting.

It's not known if they have lawyers.

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Naked suspect arrested for trying to break into Fla. home

 Dec. 16, 2016 10:24 PM EST

DUNNELLON, Fla. (AP) — Authorities in central Florida say a man was arrested after he tried to break into a home wearing nothing but his pants on his arms.

Dennis Carballo-Rios is facing charges of exposure of sexual organs, criminal mischief and burglary of an occupied residence.

Citrus County Sheriff's deputies told Orlando television station WKMG(http://bit.ly/2gTF7Gn) that early Tuesday the suspect broke a screen door, entered a front porch and tried to get into the Dunnellon, Florida home, wearing nothing but his pants draped over his arm.

Deputies say he tried to open the front door before walking away.

Deputies arrested him as he was running down the street naked.

The story has been corrected to show the time as early Tuesday instead of Tuesday night.

Information from: WKMG-TV,

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Thief steals officer's uniform from Philadelphia courthouse

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police in Philadelphia are searching for the thief who stole parts of an officer's uniform from a bench outside a courtroom at the city's Criminal Justice Center.

The 25th District officer took off his uniform jacket, badge and hat while preparing to testify in a courtroom on the Center City building's fifth floor Wednesday morning.

Police say the officer left his belongings on the bench and found that they were missing when he returned 15 minutes later.

Surveillance video from the courthouse shows a man between 40 and 50 years old stuffing the jacket and hat into a bag before leaving the building.

Investigators say the suspect was only on the floor for about seven minutes. He was last seen heading toward Broad Street

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