Mad Minute stories from Thursday, December 22nd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, December 22nd

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- A half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich found at the scene led Wyoming police to arrest a burglary suspect.
The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports that Zachery Munoz has pleaded not guilty to three counts of burglary.
Cheyenne police say someone on three separate occasions in September stole power tools and equipment from a business. In the first case, police say they found a half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich at the scene. They dubbed the suspect the "PB&J burglar."
Police say subsequent DNA testing done at the Wyoming State Crime Lab linked 26-year-old Munoz to the sandwich.
He entered a plea earlier this month, and his trial is scheduled for February.

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LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida woman is being allowed to keep her 6-foot-long pet alligator at home following a fight with state wildlife officials over the growing size of the reptile.
A spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Thursday that the agency had reached an agreement with Mary Thorn, allowing her to keep her 125-pound reptile named Rambo at home.
Wildlife officials say alligators that measure more than 6 feet must have 2.5 acres of land.
Rambo has earned local celebrity status in Lakeland, which is located between Tampa and Orlando. The alligator has been with Thorn for more than 11 years and wears clothes. Rambo was recently captured wearing a Santa hat.
Thorn is not allowed to exhibit Rambo under the terms of the agreement.

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- A Canadian woman who authorities say managed to hide her 4-year-old pet cat Bella in her handbag during a trans-Pacific flight had her vacation cut short when border agents discovered the ruse at a New Zealand airport.
The woman was refused entry into the country and she, her husband and the cat were forced to catch the next flight home, Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman Craig Hughes said Thursday. He called the woman's actions "reckless and dangerous."
New Zealand has strict regulations for importing pets. Cats and dogs from most approved countries must have an implanted microchip and be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days after arrival.
Hughes said the couple, both in their mid- to late-20s, managed to conceal the cat from the flight crew and other passengers during the 7,000-mile (11,300-kilometer) flight from Vancouver to Auckland.
"Apparently it was a very quiet cat. Very docile," Hughes said, adding that it may have been drugged to make it drowsy.
He said the traveling couple said they had nothing to declare upon arrival but border agents then determined their muddy boots needed inspecting. Agents then moved the couple's bags to an X-ray machine.
Hughes said the woman was "very reluctant" to have her small handbag X-rayed and insisted it had already been checked. She finally admitted there was a cat inside, Hughes said, but then said she'd told a ticketing agent about Bella when she purchased her ticket.
Hughes said even if the woman's story were true, which he doubted, it was still unacceptable to bring a cat across the border without declaring it. He said foreign cats could bring with them ticks and diseases that aren't present in New Zealand.
He said the woman got upset about being sent back home.
"She had plans to have a nice holiday with her husband in New Zealand," Hughes said. "And her cat."

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BICKNELL, Ind. (AP) -- A 7-year-old Indiana boy has been earning money to buy Christmas toys for other children as an honorary employee at McDonald's.
The youngster, Trenton Gardner, tells WTHI-TV that wiping tables at the fast food restaurant in Bicknell, Indiana, is the "coolest job" he's ever done. His mother, Lindsey Gardner, says her son's inspiration came from learning some children's families couldn't afford toys.
He wanted to earn money so he could help. It took time to convince McDonald's general manager Rhonda Butler. She says the boy was so determined she made him an honorary employee and gave him his own apron, name tag and hat. The restaurant donated toys to his effort.
Earlier this week, the 7-year-old and his family dropped off a truckload of toys to a local charity.

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WOBURN, Mass. (AP) - The second of Massachusetts twin sisters who pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from government agencies by providing unlicensed psychological services has been sentenced to jail.
The state attorney general's office says 52-year-old Nita Guzman was sentenced last week to 18 months in jail and five years' probation, and ordered to pay $570,000 in restitution.
The Burlington woman pleaded guilty to Medicaid false claims, false claims to public agency, larceny, and unlicensed practice of psychology.
Prosecutors say Guzman and her sister, through their companies, billed Medicare, Medicaid, University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Lawrence Public Schools for mental-health services they were not authorized to provide.
Guzman's twin, Nina Tischer, pleaded guilty in February to similar charges and was given a 2 ½-year suspended sentence.

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico Department of Health says dozens of its employees became sick after its holiday party.
The New Mexican reports that about 70 staff members say they had gastrointestinal issues after the luncheon last week. A spokesman says more than 200 employees attended the catered luncheon at the Harold Runnels Building in Santa Fe.
Health Secretary Lynn Gallgher said Monday that investigators have not identified a specific contaminated food. She told her staff that the outbreak appears likely to have been caused by bacillus cereus or clostridium perfingens. Both can cause food-borne illness.
Epidemiologists are awaiting the results of laboratory test.

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(YAHOO) Canada's had a week of rough winter weather, but slippery roads aren't a problem if you've got a Zamboni on hand for your Timmie's run.
Someone in need of a caffeine fix pulled their Zamboni into the drive-thru lane of a Tim Hortons in Stony Plain, Alta., Tuesday, according to a photo posted on Instagram Wednesday by user aim4apex.
"This was probably the most Canadian thing I've ever seen in my 26 years of life," the user wrote on the post.
The image was also shared on Reddit by user HeIIToupee.
"This picture was taken in Stony Plain yesterday by my friend who described it as quite possibly 'the most Canadian thing I've ever seen in my life,'" HeIIToupee wrote. "I think I will use it to describe Canada to my international friends."
James Callaghan, who originally posted the photo, told Yahoo Canada News he has no idea where the Zamboni came from - he's from Calgary and was in Stony Plain working for the day.
"I was just driving by and happened to look over and spot it," Callaghan said. "I thought it was a promotion or something at first but I didn't see any media or anything else around and he just went through the drive-thru and took off."
A few other users on the post shared their own examples of stereotypical Canadiana at Tim Horton's locations.
"It happens more often than you think…," said kent_eh, with a photo followed by a comment about how the machine in question was an Olympia, not a Zamboni.
"In the summer I saw this at a Timmy's in Tweed, Ontario," said BulletEponge, whose photo of a John Deere tractor in a Tim Horton's parking lot proves that a coffee run can be a year-round emergency.
Callaghan says he's not that surprised the photo has become popular. "I knew people would like it, especially with the Tim Hortons sign specifically in the photo," he said.
But a few posters on Reddit complained about both Zambonis and Tim Hortons serving as shorthand for Canadian national identity, though one poster conceded that the photo did make the point pretty effectively.
"Corny Canadiana posts about Tim Hortons and Zambonis in this subreddit just make me groan," fricken said. "But if you've got both of them together in one pic, I guess I gotta let it slide."

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Washington state has added 4 new members to its "Weed Warrior" team.
Meet the four kids, Frankincense, Myrrh, Gold and Sprig.
The baby goats were born Monday in Vancouver.
This summer they'll join the DOT's "Weed Warrior" herd, to take on weeds and brush along state highways in southwestern Washington.
State transportation officials say there are advantages to mowing with goats, especially in steep areas that are hard to reach with machines.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Several patrons at an Ohio self-service laundry facility say they were sweetly surprised when a stranger handed them holiday cards, then stunned to discover the gift inside - a $100 bill in each card.
The Columbus Dispatch reports a woman walked into the business south of downtown Columbus on Sunday evening and handed cards to four women who were there, telling the last one simply, "Merry Christmas." Then the stranger disappeared before they could thank her.
That generosity alleviated an immediate financial problem for one recipient, who says she had an auto-insurance bill due the next day and was worried about balancing that with Christmas dinner this week.
Two other women who received cards said the money helps them provide gifts for their families.

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EVERETT, Mass. (AP) - Five adults have been arrested after police say they attacked officers at a local Chuck E. Cheese.
Police in Everett, Massachusetts say they responded Saturday to reports of adults drinking alcohol, which is prohibited at the family-oriented restaurant.
They say officers arrested one belligerent patron and others started punching and kicking the officers. Everett police say state police and Medford police officers responded to help control the crowd.
Among those arrested were 33-year-old Samuel Ramos, of Boston; 30-year-old Jose Rosado-Cruz, of East Boston; 22-year old Emily Joyce Emerson, of Lynn, 33-year-old Yoselin Enid Rosado, of Boston and 53-year-old Pedro Abreu, of Chelsea.
The five were arraigned Monday in Malden District Court on charges ranging from disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assault and battery on an officer. It couldn't be immediately determined if they had lawyers.
 

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