Mad Minute stories from Thursday, February 9th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, February 9th

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HANAHAN, S.C. (AP) -- No one seems to know why there's an orange alligator in a pond near Charleston.
Residents joke the gator used too much self-tanning lotion. Or maybe it's a fan of the Clemson Tigers, who are known for their orange colors.
Residents living near the pond in Hanahan say they've seen the orange or rust-colored alligator a number of times.
Photos show the 4- to 5-foot-long alligator on the banks of a retention pond at the Tanner Plantation neighborhood.
Jay Butfiloski with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says the color may come from where the animal spent the winter, perhaps in a rusty steel culvert pipe.
Experts say the alligator will shed its skin and probably return to a normal shade soon.

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KILLEEN, Texas (AP) -- They say everything is bigger in Texas. It's now safe to say that applies to bail.
Bell County Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown set Antonio Marquis Willis' bond last week at a whopping $4 billion in the Dec. 22 killing of another man at a home in Killeen, about 55 miles north of Austin.
County sheriff's Deputy Chief Chuck Cox said he's never heard of such a high bond, the Temple Daily Telegram reported. The highest amount he had previously seen was $1 million.
Willis' lawyer, Billy Ray Hall Jr., said he's confident the amount will be lowered when Hall makes the request to a state district judge. Hall said he wasn't certain it would be lowered to the point where Willis could afford to post the amount and leave jail until his next court hearing.
Another lawyer, Michael White, said bond is designed to protect the public and ensure a defendant appears in court. It's not meant to be a punitive measure, he said.
"This justice of the peace is abusing the bail process in an attempt to make a name for herself, as opposed to setting a reasonable and affordable bond as required by law," White said. "It makes a mockery of the process and a fool of her."
Lawyer Jeff Parker said the $4 billion bond could be challenged as unconstitutional. The Constitution's Eighth Amendment protects against cruel and unusual punishment and specifically refers to protections against excessive bail or fines.
The Associated Press left a message at Brown's office Thursday asking why she set such an expensive bond. She was elected to her position in November.
Willis, 25, is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Donte Samuels.
Willis' bond far exceeds the $3 billion amount set for New York real estate heir Robert Durst before an appeals court in 2004 determined it was unconstitutionally excessive and it was lowered to $450,000. At the time, Durst had recently been acquitted of killing his neighbor while living in Texas. He was being held on related charges.

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The Saint Louis University men's basketball team lost a game to St. Bonaventure - and then its bus.
The Billikens walked out of the arena Wednesday night following the team's 70-55 loss to the Bonnies, and their bus was nowhere to be found, said New York State Police Trooper James O'Callaghan. The driver, later identified as 56-year-old Linda Edmister of Gasport, New York, had taken off.
While authorities searched for the bus, the players sat in the arena. The team posted pictures on Twitter of players talking on their cellphones, playing cards and napping.
"Just chilling in the Reilly Center while we try to find our missing bus," the team tweeted.
State police said the bus was eventually stopped in Randolph, about 40 miles from the arena. Troopers said they were able to find it through GPS on an item left on the bus. School officials said the item was head coach Travis Ford's iPad.
"I'm not sure where their destination was after that. But yeah, it definitely wasn't Randolph," O'Callaghan said.
Troopers charged Edmister with driving a commercial vehicle while intoxicated. Police say her blood alcohol content was 0.22 percent, more than five times the limit for commercial drivers, 0.04 percent.
It couldn't be learned if she has a lawyer who could comment on the accusations. The Associated Press also left a message for her employer.
As for the team, it later posted an update on Twitter thanking the St. Bonaventure staff for helping out.
O'Callaghan said police don't believe Edmister was drunk when she drove the team to the arena. He said troopers don't know exactly when she left the campus or why. The game ended around 9:30 p.m. Edmister was pulled over shortly before 11 p.m., troopers said.
Another bus took the Billikens to Randolph so the team could retrieve their possessions from the first bus. They were then taken to the airport in nearby Bradford, Pennsylvania, for the return flight, which arrived in St. Louis around 3 a.m. local time.

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FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) -- Authorities say a northern Alabama man tried to get money from his grandmother by faking his own kidnapping.
Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office investigator Lt. Brad Potts tells news outlets 23-year-old Preston Kelley texted his grandmother a photo Monday that appeared to show him bound and beaten in a wooded area in Tennessee.
Authorities say Kelley told his grandmother to send $1,000 or else he would be killed. Potts says the woman contacted investigators, who concluded that Kelley wasn't in Tennessee and the whole episode was a hoax.
Kelley was arrested later that day in Lauderdale County and charged with first-degree extortion.
During questioning, Potts says Kelley maintained he had actually been kidnapped.

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BERLIN (AP) -- A town in Germany has stopped playing a popular children's song about a fox who steals a goose after a complaint from a vegan.
Limburg's town spokesman Johannes Laubach told the dpa news agency Thursday a local woman had asked the mayor to remove the tune from the town hall's mechanical carillon.
Laubach said the mayor had temporarily granted her request. The carillon - a series of bells - has a repertoire of 33 tunes, including 15 German children's songs, that are played several times a day.
The Frankfurter Neue Presse newspaper reports the woman was upset by being reminded of the song's words - "the hunter's going to get you with his gun," rather than by the fox's theft of the goose.

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PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) - Authorities are investigating a Kansas restaurant robbery that netted $2.
The Pittsburg Morning Sun reports that two men are accused of forcing three Jimmy John's employees to the floor Monday night. Night manager Seth Cheney says that after he told the masked suspects he couldn't open the safe or register, they demanded cash from the Pittsburg sandwich shop's employees.
Cheney says two of them had empty wallets and a third had $3. The suspects also are accused of demanding a sandwich and fleeing as the food was being prepared.
A responding officer spotted two men riding away from the area on bicycles. Arresting officers recovered an airsoft pistol, baseball bat and $2.
Police Major Brent Narges says the suspects apparently dropped a dollar bill. Bond is set at $50,000.

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CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - Police got a call early this morning for a strange character causing a disturbance at a local Stripes store. A lost female was apparently following customers in the parking lot of that business on SPID and Old Brownsville Road.
Caller- "I've got a really strange thing going on here. I have a pig that won't leave my parking lot." 
Dispatcher- "A pig?"
Caller- "A pig. Yes, ma'am. Bacon on the hoof."
A pot bellied pig showed up in that store parking lot around 3 this morning. Where did it come from?
"Don't know, and that's what's really puzzling because we don't know if she was just wondering if somebody dropped her off if maybe she fell off a truck," said Danni Alcantara with the Corpus Christi Animal Control. 
The pig, who's been named Piggy Wiggy, seemed pretty happy to just wander around the parking lot. It took five police officers and an Animal control employee to round her up and get her on a truck. Piggy Wiggy, who it turns out is a she, is now at the Animal Control Shelter.
"She's kind of been laying around all day," said Alcantara. 
Animal Care Workers can do is make her comfortable and treat a skin rash she's got. She'll be here for about three days, hopefully, her owner will come forward. Don't worry, she won't end up as a lunch special.
"If an owner doesn't come and reclaim her, of course, we'll put her up for adoption or maybe even a rescue," said Alcantara. 
So if Piggy Wiggy is yours, give Animal Control a call.

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Forget the fine china. Domino's Pizza has launched a wedding registry site that allows couples to order the pie of their dreams.
Domino's spokeswoman Jenny Fouracre says the company launched the site just in time for Valentine's Day so couples "passionate about pizza" can "register for something they both truly love as much as their partner."
Visitors to the site have the option of signing up for Domino's to be served at a bachelorette party or as a late night snack at the end of the wedding reception. 
Couples who receive gifts from the site get a gift card in order to pay for the pizza.

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(Bloomberg) Samsung SDI Co., a supplier of batteries to explosion-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, said a "minor fire" broke out at a plant in northern China but was quickly put out.
Pictures that were circulated on Weibo, a Twitter-like Chinese social media service, showed plumes of black smoke rising into the air from what users described as a plant operated by the affiliate of Samsung Electronics Co. in Tianjin. The fire didn't affect production, spokesman Shin Yong-doo said on Wednesday.
The fire occurred at a waste depository, not a production facility, Shin said.
Samsung SDI was one of two battery suppliers for the Note 7 smartphones, which was eventually killed off after a global recall. Samsung Electronics this month completed a probe into the device and cited flaws in battery manufacturing and design for the fiasco.
SDI said this month is has invested about 150 billion won ($129 million) in safety and that its batteries will probably be used in Samsung Electronics' next smartphone model.

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If you love chocolate, here's your chance to eat it for a living. The company Mondelez International, which owns Cadbury and Oreo, is hiring a "chocolate taster." 
Here's the job listing on their website: 
"What makes working at Mondelez International so special? Many things. The iconic brands and global nature of our business. The continuous innovation and endless opportunities to grow. The chance, each and every day, to put a smile on people's faces. We're the world's leading maker of Chocolate, Biscuits, Candy and Gum with billion-dollar brands like Cadbury, Milka, Prince and Oreo and we now have an exciting opportunity to join our team. 
Mondelez International's Reading Science Centre provides unique opportunities in the provision of scientific analysis, research, consultancy and training to its parent company and the wider food and pharmaceutical sectors. Operating as Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL), we apply leading-edge science with integrity and service to exceed expectations and deliver greater value to our clients. 
The job will take place at the Mondelez/ RSSL (Reading Scientific Services Limited) building situated on Whiteknights campus in Reading. 
This position will take place in the Consumer Science discussion rooms and sensory booths. The role will be working alongside approx. 11 panellists and a panel leader.
Please be aware this is a part time position, to work 7.5 hours per week Tuesday-Thursday 12:15-2.45pm."
Interested in applying? Click here.

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