Mad Minute for 12/30/16 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute for 12/30/16

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Mad Minute for 12/30/16 Mad Minute for 12/30/16
GRANT, Ala. -

After dead birds arrive in mail, woman gets living canaries

The carnage of broken wings and dead canaries that arrived in an Alabama woman's mail have been replaced by the cheerful chirps and tweets of brand new birds - live ones.

The U.S. Postal Service paid for seven new canaries plus the postage needed to send them to Rhonda King, who operates a hair salon in Grant, Alabama, postal officials said.

King was crestfallen earlier this month, when she received a half-dozen dead canaries in a package marked with tire tracks.

Nothing can bring back the canaries from that first mangled package, whose tiny souls left this Earth somewhere between Houston, Texas, and the tiny northern Alabama town of Grant.

Now, the avian horror of that first delivery has been replaced by soothing orchestral music, King said. The sound made by a canary is one thing she loves about them, but even better is the combined song produced by a flock, she said.

"They sound like small instruments of orchestra music," she said. "It's just beautiful, soft, harmonizing, orchestrated music."

On Thursday, like seven small mythical phoenixes who rose from the ashes, the new birds arrived in Grant.

"They're beautiful birds," King said a few hours after their arrival. "They're just picture perfect!"

"It's not going to replace the other birds, but they did the next best thing and I'm proud of them," King said of the Postal Service.

A postal manager who visited King Thursday named one of them "Carrie Canary," Postal Service spokeswoman Debra Fetterly said.

Asked whether she'd use the Postal Service again, King paused for a brief moment and then said: "I would. I really would."

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Late fee? No prob: Check covers library books 40 years later

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) -- A library lover who found two books more than four decades overdue at a vacation cabin in Canada is making a donation to cover the late fees - at the 1970s-era rate of a nickel a day.

The Minnesota man and his family gave the Maryland library a check for about $1,550 to cover the fees.

Jon Kramer, of Minneapolis, says he was searching through his deceased parents' library last month at their cabin on an island in Ontario when he found a camping book and a cookbook that had been checked out from a Montgomery County library in the 1970s.

Kramer remembered family library trips fondly and sent a $1,552.30 donation.

Kramer says he's keeping the books but is willing to continue paying late fees in the future.

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Santa Claus is back on Facebook after proving his identity

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) -- Santa Claus' Facebook account has been reinstated after the social media company suspended his access and demanded proof of identity on Christmas Day.

Claus, a North Pole city councilman, said he was never given a reason why his page was blocked. He said he thought Facebook didn't believe his name was Santa Claus or that he lived in North Pole.

A Facebook spokeswoman apologized in an email Tuesday for suspending Claus' account and said it was done by mistake.

"The account was removed in error and restored as soon as we were able to investigate," the company said in a statement. "Our team processes millions of reports each week, and we sometimes get things wrong."

To get his account reinstated, Claus said he sent multiple documents proving his identity, including copies of his Alaska driver's license and letter of appointment to the North Pole City Council. Claud said he is the only Santa Claus on Facebook who resides in the city and legally goes by the name.

"I just can't believe somebody, particularly on Christmas, would take me to task," he said.

Claus, who goes on his Facebook page regularly, said he uses the social media platform to share "nice quotes" and interact with people. His page has more than 300,000 "likes."

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Man charged with smashing register with ax, biting officer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A police officer was bitten by a man who used an ax to smash a gas station cash register while demanding lottery tickets, authorities said Friday.

Assistant Mercer County Prosecutor John Boyle said 39-year-old Anthony Hunter, of Trenton, rushed at and bit the officer on the right hand after police tried to arrest him at a Lukoil station in Ewing.

It's not clear whether the officer was hurt.

Prosecutors say Hunter smashed the store's cash register with an ax Monday and demanded that workers fill a bag with scratch-off lottery tickets before he ran from the station. He has been charged with two counts of robbery.

Boyle says it was Hunter's third robbery attempt at a gas station this month. He also faces charges that on separate occasions he stole a milkshake and later $60 in cash from a Shell station in Trenton in December.

Hunter's attorney tells NJ.com that his client maintains his innocence. The newspaper reports that Hunter is being held on a combined $350,000 bail.

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Fugitive toucan captured in Southern California

YORBA LINDA, Calif. (AP) -- A toucan that became a local sensation while living wild much of the year in Southern California has finally been captured.

The brightly colored female bird named Fern was spotted Tuesday in the rafters of a Yorba Linda auto repair shop.

A service adviser made calls to animal experts including Omar's Exotic Birds, which dispatched an employee who captured Fern.

The bird escaped in May from an aviary in Courtney Chapman's Fullerton home after Fern and a male toucan were delivered by a breeder.

Chapman tells The Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/2iMVFhD ) she had been told the chances of getting the toucan back were slim to none.

Shortly after the escape, Chapman joined a private social network app for neighbors and soon photos of Fern spottings around town were being posted

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Keep the change? Cops say man tipped server with Valium pill

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) -- Here's a tip: Don't give a prescription painkiller as a gratuity.

According to police, that gesture led to trouble for a patron of a Pennsylvania casino on Thursday.

State police say the man at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem tipped a server with a Valium pill.

The Morning Call reports (http://bit.ly/2ig70tw) David Carnevale, of Caldwell, New Jersey, faces a charge of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. He was released on his own recognizance.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 6. A working phone number for Carnevale could not be found.

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Rotten egg smell plagues San Francisco Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Officials are trying to determine what is causing a smell of rotten eggs in the San Francisco Bay Area this week.

KNTV reports (http://bit.ly/2ixtNyv ) the Bay Area Air Quality Management District says that crews are focusing on ships, landfills, wastewater treatment plants and two flaring episodes at the Chevron Richmond refinery as potential culprits.

Monitoring devices at the Chevron facility revealed that sulfur was released on Tuesday at some point during the initial flaring episode. Officials are still compiling data about a second flaring episode. No injuries have been reported.

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Information from: KNTV-TV.

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Woman threatens brother with dagger for eating dumplings

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — A 36-year-old Florida woman faces an aggravated assault charge after police say she threatened her brother with a dagger for eating Polish dumplings at their mother's home.

The Palm Beach Post (http://pbpo.st/2ieQSIu ) reports the siblings started arguing late Tuesday after Mandy Rounds' brother ate the plate of dumplings, also known as pierogis. The fight spilled outside the Jupiter home.

A police report says Rounds threatened to cut the dumplings out of her brother's stomach before stabbing the large dagger into the hood of a truck where his girlfriend was sitting.

Police found her walking about a half-mile from the house. She was arrested and released from jail Thursday on a $1,500 bond. Records didn't list an attorney for her.

The brother declined to press charges for damage to his truck.

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Canadian man punches Cougar to save dog

ALBERTA, CAN  -- An Alberta man is being credited with saving his dog after it was attacked by a cougar. Willaim gibb says he could hear his dog sasha howling in pain and it took him a minute to realize what ha happened. That’s when he saw the cougar. he says he didn’t know what he was going to do but he knew he had to do it fast.

" I ran up and instinctively I just aimed for what looked like the head." Gibb said, "I Punched it on the side of the head and the thing backed right off it let go of her."

Gibb says the cougar wouldn't back down and then scratched him on the wrist as he fought with it. but eventually he was able to get himself, and his dog to safety.

RCMP were called and shot and killed the animal on scene.

They say it had to be put down because of it's aggressive behavior. Gibb says he's just thankfull him and his dog will be making a full recovery.

" I'd like to think of myself as being better prepared than the average person" he said,  "this situation has proved otherwise."

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MILWAUKEE, WI -- A pair of especially dedicated surfers were filmed showing their devotion to the sport by braving sub-freezing temperatures to tackle the waves of Lake Michigan.

The video, filmed earlier this month and posted to Facebook by Derek Utley, shows two surfers riding the waves at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee.

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The video shows one of the surfers manage to get upright and ride a massive wave.

Utley said the temperature when he filmed the video was only 29 degrees and snow was falling heavily with 8 inches of accumulation already on the ground.

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