Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, December 21st - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, December 21st

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POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) -- A poll has found that the most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation in America is "whatever."
The Marist College poll released Wednesday indicates the word irritates 38 percent of Americans.
The pollsters offered up five options for most annoying word or phrase: "Whatever," ''No offense, but," ''Ya know, right," ''I can't even" and "huge."
"No offense, but" is second with 20 percent. In third place is, "You know, right," which is irksome to 14 percent of people, tied with "I can't even." ''Huge" grates on the nerves of 8 percent.
"Whatever" is losing some steam, though. Last year it topped the list at 43 percent.
Age matters. Among Americans under 30, "I can't even" takes top honors.
The Dec. 1-9 survey of 1,005 adults has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) -- Firefighters have rescued a Russian tortoise named Yoda at an eastern Idaho elementary school after a heating device caused his habitat to start smoldering.
The Idaho Falls Fire Department says it responded early Wednesday to a fire alarm at Fairview Elementary School in Idaho Falls and found the building filled with smoke.
Crews discovered a smoldering fire in a classroom in Yoda's 30-gallon enclosure and saved the tortoise.
Bonneville School District Superintendent Charles Shackett says a heating pad meant to keep Yoda warm caused the problem. The hand-sized tortoise is fine and back home with his owner, a teacher.
Shackett says he encourages pets in the classroom but will review animal habitat policies.
School officials say the fire damage is minimal, and the building is being aired out.

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CHICAGO (AP) -- A suburban Chicago man is suing McDonald's restaurants in two Illinois counties, arguing cheeseburger "Extra Value Meals" are actually more expensive than when the items are purchased separately.
James Gertie of Des Plaines tells The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald that bundling two cheeseburgers, medium french fries and a drink at $5.90 is 41 cents more than when individual items are purchased.
Gertie, a bus driver, says his lawsuit filed this month is about principle, not 41 cents.
He seeks class-action status for a consumer fraud and deceptive practices lawsuit against McDonald's operator Karis Management Co.
The complaint seeks an injunction to keep McDonald's from pricing value meals higher than items purchased separately.
Des Plaines-based Karis operates McDonald's restaurants in nine cities. Representatives from McDonald's and Karis didn't return messages.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City police say they believe the opportunistic thief who swiped an 86-pound bucket of gold flakes worth nearly $1.6 million off an armored truck in Manhattan is hiding out on the West Coast.
Detectives say the man fled to Orlando, Florida after the Sept. 29 theft before ultimately landing in California. Police believe he's hiding out in the Los Angeles area with the stolen gold.
The theft occurred in broad daylight and was caught on street surveillance cameras.
Police say their suspect is 53-year-old Julio Nivelo, who goes by the name Luis Toledo, David Vargas and other aliases. They say he is a career thief from New Jersey who has been arrested and deported back to his native Ecuador several times.

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PHOENIX (AP) - Quintuplets have been born at a Phoenix hospital for the first time in its 121-year history.
Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center says the quintuplets are in the nursing intensive care unit after being born earlier this month.
The babies were born at 32 weeks, with weights ranging from 3 to 4 pounds.
The hospital plans a media briefing Wednesday with parents Margaret and Michael Baudinet and hospital staff, including one of the physicians who helped deliver the quintuplets.
According to the hospital, 52 is the average number of sets of quintuplets born annually in the United States in the past decade.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The Grinch who stole the Nutcracker's mask and the Sugar Plum Fairy's tutu from a Rhode Island warehouse has had a change of heart.
Several costumes from "The Nutcracker" were returned Tuesday to police in Pawtucket.
An attorney gave the costumes to police from a client. Neither was identified publicly.
The Festival Ballet Providence discovered in November that 57 costumes and costume parts were missing from a Pawtucket warehouse.
Artistic director Misha Djuric (JOO'-rich) is assessing the condition of the returned costumes. One of the Nutcracker's masks was damaged.
The show was performed this past weekend. Ballet companies from across the country lent costumes and props.
The artistic director says he's glad some costumes won't have to be replaced next year and hopes the rest will be returned.

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LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico police say a man has been arrested on his 12th drunken driving charge.
The Las Vegas Optic reports 45-year-old Edward Moya was arrested earlier this month after a state police officer reported seeing him travel 120 mph in northern New Mexico. Authorities say he was taken into custody following a short chase.
Police say Moya smelled of alcohol and admitted to consuming alcohol.
New Mexico State Police say Moya had been arrested 11 previous times for drunken driving.
Moya faces a number of charges, including DWI-12th offense and aggravated battery upon a peace officer.
It was not known if Moya had an attorney.
His arrest comes as New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is sending in court monitors to document cases of repeat drunken driving offenders.

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WEBSTER, Mass. (AP) - Police in Massachusetts are looking for a woman they say tried to throw off investigators by drawing a mustache on her face to rob a credit union.
Webster police say the suspect entered the Webster First Federal Credit Union at about 1 p.m. Tuesday and gave a teller a threatening note.
Police Lt. Michael Shaw said the woman got away with an undisclosed amount of money.
The suspect was described as a white woman in her mid-20s to mid-30s, who was wearing glasses and a blue hooded jacket at the time of the robbery.
The credit union's president said in a statement that no one was hurt and employee safety is of the "utmost importance."

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Miami, FL - Miami police are looking for a man who stole expensive pigeons from a store while wearing a bucket on his head. 
The store's owner says the same thing happened in May and if it continues, he'll be out of business. 
Surveillance footage shows the robber searching through cages inside a gate before he finds the birds he wants. He collects the animals in one enclosure and then sets up a ladder to escape. 
Outside in the parking lot, he climbs a fence before falling off a ladder with the birds in hand.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - For people staying in homeless shelters in the District of Columbia, deer meat is what's for dinner.
The National Park Service says it has donated 1,300 pounds of venison to the DC Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that prepares meals for shelters and transitional housing. The meat comes from 36 animals that were killed as part of a deer management plan in northwest Washington's Rock Creek Park.
Officials say managing the number of deer is necessary for a healthy, diverse forest that supports native vegetation and wildlife.
Officials say the deer are tested to make sure they do not have a neurological disease before the venison is donated. The Park Service says it has donated approximately 7,300 pounds of venison to the DC Central Kitchen since 2013.

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