Mad Minute stories from Thursday, December 29th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, December 29th

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BERLIN (AP) -- A German landlady's concerns about suspicious chemical odors from her tenant's apartment led police to a man who was trying unsuccessfully to extract gold from old cellphone and computer circuit boards.
The woman went to police in Braubach, near the western city of Koblenz, on Wednesday, concerned that she hadn't seen her 28-year-old tenant for some time. Police said Thursday that officers found a range of chemicals, and at first suspected he was running an illegal drug lab.
Further checks and questioning of the tenant, who was on a trip to southern Germany, revealed that he had been using the chemicals to try to extract gold.
The man had gone to visit acquaintances, including a physicist, for advice. They suggested he give up.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a wheelchair user who had been found guilty of driving under the influence of intoxicants.
James Greene of Waldport was arrested in November 2012 after entering a crosswalk in a motorized wheelchair and striking the side of a moving pickup. Police determined he was impaired by alcohol and drugs, and a jury convicted him of drunken driving.
In his appeal, Greene argued that he should have been considered a pedestrian, not subject to the DUI law.
The state disagreed, pointing to a law that treats motorized wheelchairs like bicycles when they are driven on bike lanes.
In its opinion Thursday, the Appeals Court decided legislators only intended to have wheelchairs treated like bicycles in that narrow circumstance, and users should be considered pedestrians when in a crosswalk.

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities have identified a 23-year-old woman who drove the wrong way on a freeway for nine miles and past seven police cars who tried to stop her before she was finally arrested.
Court records show Nina Milos of Phoenix has been charged with seven counts of endangerment, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run and several drunken driving charges.
Milos is accused of driving past seven police officers with lights and sirens and striking a car in the HOV lane on the Loop 101 freeway in Scottsdale on Wednesday.
Milos was driving southbound in the northbound lanes.
A police report shows Milos admitted to drinking margaritas and had a blood-alcohol content level more than twice the legal limit.
Milos was booked into Maricopa County Jail.

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) - A Pittsfield man authorities say spray-painted the letter "G'' on about 100 properties around the city has been sentenced to three months in jail.
The Berkshire Eagle reports that 39-year-old George O'Neil was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to nine counts of vandalism.
Even though there were only nine formal complaints made to authorities, prosecutors say he vandalized about 100 properties, including one new building.
The letter "G'' appeared in several different colors.
Police estimate the acts occurred between Sept. 1 and Oct. 20. He was apprehended last month.
O'Neil's attorney says her client has taken responsibility for what he called "a very stupid act."

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - A North Texas police officer recently gave a teenager the option of being cited for marijuana possession or doing 200 pushups after the boy was caught smoking pot outside a movie theater.
The teen opted for the pushups Monday after Arlington officer Eric Ball smelled the odor of marijuana.
Police Lt. Christopher Cook says Ball was working an off-duty detail at the theater when he encountered the teen. He found the boy's mother inside and the woman hugged and thanked the officer.
Cook says the boy was respectful and realized he'd made a mistake. He says Ball played football under coaches who used pushups to ensure discipline.
A video showing the teen struggling to complete the pushups was posted on Facebook and has been viewed more than 100,000 times.

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LONG LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A 700-pound bull found a temporary pen in northern Michigan: the window well of a home under construction.
Tucker got away from a farm in Grand Traverse County when strong winds opened a gate Monday night. The Traverse City Record-Eagle ( ) says he was found Tuesday in a large window well but couldn't get out.
Owner Gary Jurkovich says the cow was guided through the window, into the unfinished home's basement and up the stairs. Tucker wasn't injured - and he even knew how to get home.
On its Facebook page, Grand Traverse 911 says maybe Tucker wanted to "moo-ve into a new home."

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After her husband asked for a divorce, Amber Clisura gave back her engagement ring, kicked him out of the house and tossed everything that reminded her of the ruined marriage. Except for one item: a polished steel barbecue smoker that her future ex-husband had fashioned for her from an old oil drum.
"It sat there on the patio and rusted and rusted, and it became a sad symbol of the relationship," Clisura said.
The four-legged smoker had been a treasured handmade gift, but eventually Clisura couldn't bear to look at it. She considered giving it to a neighbor or selling it for scrap but then read about a call for submissions at the new Los Angeles branch of the Museum of Broken Relationships.
The original museum opened in Zagreb, Croatia, in 2010 after growing out of a touring collection that crisscrossed Europe, Asia and the U.S. On display in Zagreb are artifacts from failed unions, most of them mundane under ordinary circumstances. A single stiletto heel. A wine opener. A worn old Snoopy doll.
But when isolated in a glass case or hanging on a white wall and accompanied by a caption, the objects become imbued with heartache or regret. Or freedom.
In Los Angeles, there's a blue chiffon top a woman wore to a cafe where her husband told her he was leaving. An envelope of leaves mailed from Canada to San Diego so a long-distance paramour could experience changing seasons in Southern California. A jar of pickles purchased for a first love who, the donor explained, "stopped texting before I could give it to him."
After some deliberation, Clisura, a textile artist and fashion designer from LA, decided to donate the smoker and drove it to the museum's warehouse.
"A woman met me downstairs, and as I was handing it over, I burst into tears," Clisura said, laughing now. "It felt like a weight was lifted." The museum representative offered to give her a hug.
Employees have embraced their share of brokenhearted donors eager for closure, said director Alexis Hyde at the museum's location on Hollywood Boulevard, a thoroughfare that, she noted, has been called the "boulevard of broken dreams."
Hyde has been known to brush away her own tears as she opens boxes containing donations.
"It's cathartic the way a good, sad movie is cathartic," she said. "On some level, you know this person's moving on, and they've survived."
Hyde pointed out not all the fizzled unions represented in the 3,500-square-foot museum were romantic. One donor had an irreparable relationship with her father. Another split from a church. A California woman who donated a Texas license plate said she separated from the Lone Star State.
"My broken relationship was with myself," said Andree Vermeulen, whose donated items are the museum's most talked about. The actress sent in a pair of breast implants she had removed after ending a toxic relationship with a man who made disparaging comments about her body.
Vermeulen, who lives in Los Angeles, said the implants "never felt right," and since they've been out, she has "reached a place where I feel very grounded and confident." An outpouring of support on social media gave her further confidence to use the experience as fodder during storytelling performances in which she discusses body image and standards of beauty.
Vermeulen said the donation, now displayed in a glass case in the LA museum's main room, symbolized the final chapter of the relationship, and her scars "mark a story and a time in my life that taught me a lot about myself."
More than 2,000 items comprise the museum's two brick-and-mortar collections and touring shows, which have made stops in San Francisco, Helsinki, Finland and Hamburg, Germany. A show in Seoul, South Korea, featured a donated Jeep that had to be taken apart and brought in by crane. Donations arrive so regularly that the LA site hopes to continually cycle in new items to keep the exhibit fresh.
Donors are anonymous or identified only by first name. They generally write just a few sentences as a backstory, but some items, including a simple green coffee mug at the LA site, come with explanations that go on for hundreds of words.
The caption accompanying a group of old cassette tapes reads: "The music made me dream."
Pieces are displayed across six exhibition rooms in the ground-floor location that lures tourists who stroll Hollywood Boulevard. Visitors pay $18 admission and are encouraged to pop into a private "confessional," where they can write about their own breakups.
Olinka Vistica and Drazen Grubisic, the Croatian artists who conceived the original exhibition on a whim, are shocked by its staying power.
Hyde isn't. "It's so resonant," she said. "The audience is so large for it."
Clisura admitted she hadn't yet been to the museum to see the old rusted smoker.
"I wasn't sure I was ready," she said. But she's since changed her mind and is planning a trip with her new boyfriend.

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Brooklyn, NY - A bar in Brooklyn has apparently had it with annoying customers. 
Phil's Crummy Corner in Carroll Gardens has raised its drinking age to 25. That means to order any alcoholic drink -- a beer, a cocktail, a shot, whatever -- customers have to be at least 25-years-old. 
Employees at the restaurant say people started complaining about unruly, young, drunk people, so they raised the drinking age to try and combat the problem. 

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If you wanted to buy your kids a Hatchimal for the holidays this year, but you couldn't get your hands on one, reasons to make you glad you didn't buy one, are mounting. 
First, several plaints started coming in from parents saying the toys weren't actually hatching.
But for those that are hatching like their supposed to, some parents are now complaining that the toys are cursing when they're supposed to be sleeping. 
"I'm pretty sure it says 'f?- me,'" Nick Galego told CTV Vancouver Island. He and his wife uploaded a video of it online.
In response, a spokesperson for the creators of Hatchimals -- Spin Master -- replied saying "Hatchimals speak their own language made up of random sounds. We can assure you that the Hatchimal is not saying anything inappropriate. The one in the video appears to be sleeping."

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) - While TBDBITL practiced at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Tuesday, one of the band members made his case for a spot on the football team.
Trumpet player Austin Brizee, kicked the field goal from the 45 yard line inside OSU's indoor practice facility.
The band tweeted a video of the field goal, asking Urban Meyer if he needed a kicker for the game on Saturday.
Ohio State's Assistant Director of Player Personnel, Eron Hodges replied to the band, saying he 'definitely has a tryout invitation.'

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