Mad Minute stories from Monday, January 30th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, January 30th

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ELKO, Nev. (AP) - A carjacker who made off with a newspaper delivery van in northeast Nevada was arrested after he drove past the newspaper's office.
The Elko Daily Free Press posted a story on its Web site Thursday warning subscribers deliveries might be delayed because of the crime.
Undersheriff Ron Supp says the van's driver was loading a newspaper rack at a Ryndon convenience store on Interstate 80 at about 3 a.m. when a man pushed him to the ground and stole the van with emblems of Elko's companion paper, the Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho.
The carjacker headed east on I-80 but a short time later, a Free Press employee saw it pass the Elko office.
Deputies pulled over 45-year-old Roland Reynolds of Elko and booked him on suspicion of grand larceny, robbery and possession of a stolen vehicle.

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NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (AP) -- A Massachusetts man fighting a speeding ticket in court had a unique explanation - the officer's radar gun may have picked up a deer.
The Newburyport Daily News reports that Dennis Sayers, of Haverhill (HAY'-vruhl), was clocked going 40 mph in 30 mph zone in West Newbury in November.
He got a $105 ticket.
He appealed in court on Thursday, asking Officer Royster Johnson if he was 100 percent sure his radar captured Sayers' speed or the speed of a deer that could have been in the vicinity.
When confronted by the skeptical judge, Sayers replied that anything was possible.
The fine was upheld.
Deer, by the way, can run approximately 30 mph.

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The 911 calls started pouring in just after noon in the tiny western Pennsylvania town of Brookville. The electrical meter is on fire. The house siding is burning. My power strip is smoking. The computer is fried. The carpeting is singed. Our light bulb exploded.
A power company says a failed power line component was to blame for an electrical surge Jan. 20 in Brookville, population 4,000. When it was over, 500 to 1,000 residents were affected, said Tracy Zents, the director of Jefferson County's Department of Emergency Services.
"I've been doing this a little over 30 years, and this is definitely a first for me," Zents said. "We were fortunate that nobody was hurt."
The volume of calls quickly overwhelmed the local volunteer fire department 70 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, which had to call three other departments for help, Zents said.
Even the police department wasn't spared. The surge tripped the department's main office radio, so the initial emergency calls were missed, said Chief Jason Brown.
"Then all of a sudden I hear fire engines, so I turned on my handheld," Brown said. He quickly learned what happened, as fluorescent lights in the building next door started exploding in their sockets.
He said he doesn't know anyone on the east side of town who wasn't affected in some way.
"You go down the street and you see all these blackened meters," he said.
Scott Surgeoner, a spokesman for electric utility FirstEnergy, said Friday the problem started with a failed insulator on a power line. That failure caused a flash that spread to a feeder line to Brookville, and about 475 customers lost power. It was restored by 5 p.m. the same day, he said.
The cause of the failure isn't clear, but Surgeoner said it's not uncommon for insulators to fail after years of weather exposure.
"It's similar to an alternator in a car. Why does it fail after a few years? Mine might last for 10 years, but yours might last for five," he said. "Any equipment that is on a pole in the air and is subjected to weather 365 days a year, 24 hours a day is susceptible to failure."
Any customers who feel FirstEnergy's local provider, Penelec, was negligent can file a claim with the company, and they will be reviewed on case-by-case basis, Surgeoner said. He's not sure if any have been received.

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FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) -- A fire station in northwestern Alabama has had to be temporarily closed after an infestation of bed bugs sent at least one firefighter for medical treatment.
Florence city officials said in a news release Thursday that Fire Station 2 is undergoing treatment by an exterminator. The bedding will be destroyed.
Fire officials say they were notified of a potential infestation when a firefighter discovered bites on his wrist Monday. No other firefighters were noticeably affected.
Mayor Steve Holt says officials have determined the cause of the infestation and are taking preventive measures to make sure the same thing doesn't happen at any other facility.
Station 2's nine firefighters have been moved to two other stations, along with their trucks and equipment.

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EPPING, N.H. (AP) -- Police say two employees at a New Hampshire Burger King have been arrested on drug charges after authorities were tipped off that drive-thru customers who asked for extra crispy fries got marijuana with their meal.
NH1 reports Epping Police Chief Mike Wallace said 20-year-old Garrett Norris was arrested Saturday after police conducted a sting operation. Also arrested was 19-year-old Meagan Dearborn, the shift manager.
Wallace said drive-thru buyers would ask for "Nasty Boy," then for extra crispy fries.
Wallace said the drugs weren't put in the food; they were sold in a separate container. He said the operation didn't involve the franchise owners.
Norris and Dearborn are scheduled for arraignment Feb. 28. It wasn't known if they had lawyers and phone numbers couldn't be found for them.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Police in New York City are asking for the public's help in apprehending a burglar who wore a white biohazard suit to conceal his identity when he stole a safe containing $200,000 from a home in Queens earlier this month.
WNBC-TV reports surveillance video shows the burglar pull a Mercedes-Benz station wagon into the driveway of a home in the Bayside section of the borough on Jan. 6.
Police say the man exited his vehicle, entered the home through an unlocked back door and made off with the safe, which contained valuable jewelry in addition to the cash.
Investigators have not said whether the home was targeted.

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) -- Police say an Ohio burglar made himself at home in houses he broke into by cooking and showering before leaving.
Authorities in Youngstown say the 33-year-old homeless man brought his own food to cook during break-ins.
The Vindicator reports Saturday the man was charged with burglary and breaking and entering.
Police say the man was arrested after a woman arrived home from work about 12:15 a.m. Wednesday and found her kitchen ransacked with food all over and her stove used.
Police reports say the woman heard running water upstairs and found a man in her shower.

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) -- It took a couple of cowboys from a rodeo competition, each armed with a lasso, to catch an escaped bull that was running wild in a South Dakota city.
Authorities say the bull got loose Sunday when the owner was loading him into a trailer at the Central States Fairgrounds in Rapid City. The bull bolted along a bike path, through Memorial Park and Rapid Creek, and stopped at the Executive Golf Course.
KOTA-TV reports that police say even though the bull was tired he was still considered dangerous, especially in a residential area. Police summoned some cowboys from the Sutton Ranch Rodeo competition at the civic center and they were able to rope the bull and get him back to the trailer.

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FORDYCE, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas sheriff's deputy has resigned after he was accused of letting a drunken inmate drive his Hummer, which he crashed into a fence.
The Dallas County Sheriff's Office says Chance Dodson resigned Tuesday after his arrest last week on suspicion of disorderly conduct.
A police report says Dodson took the inmate from the jail Jan. 21 to help him collect firewood. But instead, police allege, Dodson and the inmate began drinking.
Chief Deputy Josh McMullen tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that Dodson let the inmate drive his personal vehicle, an H3 Hummer, and he crashed. Police say the inmate's blood alcohol content was 0.14.
A telephone listing in Dodson's name is out of service Friday, and it isn't clear whether he has an attorney to speak on his behalf.

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OREM, Utah (AP) - The so-called "phantom dumper" has returned to Orem, once again clogging the city's sewer system with fibrous sludge.
Water Resources Division Manager Neil Winterton says someone has dumped fibrous gunk into Orem's system three times in the past eight days.
The dumping has been going on for the past seven months, costing the city thousands of dollars each time. In November the city printed T-shirts with a cartoon phantom on the front to raise awareness that the behavior is illegal.
Winterton estimates cleaning the goop up has cost the city close to $100,000.
City administrators are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the person responsible for the illegal dumping.
 

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