Mad Minute stories from Monday, February 13th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, February 13th

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- U.S. senators in Alaska, Washington and Hawaii have proposed legislation intended to improve volcano monitoring efforts and early warning capabilities.
The measure would put the Alaska, Cascades and Hawaiian volcano observatories into a connected system and create a 24-hour Volcano Watch Office to provide ongoing situational awareness of active volcanoes in the U.S. and its territories.
A Senate energy committee release says the Alaska Volcano Observatory has long been underfunded and is among the busiest observatories in the world. The Cascades observatory, in Washington, monitors volcanoes in that state, Oregon and Idaho, and two of the more active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, are monitored by the Hawaiian observatory.
The bill is from Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Maria Cantwell of Washington and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, all energy committee members.

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) -- Authorities in South Carolina believe an 80-year-old woman had no idea until she went through airport security that the walking cane she was attempting to take on an airplane contained a hidden sword.
News outlets report that Transportation Security Administration regional spokesman Mark Howell recounted the incident Thursday at Myrtle Beach International Airport as part of an effort to highlight examples of dangerous items recently carried by passengers departing the airport.
Howell told reporters secret swords are not actually that uncommon a discovery for TSA screeners since people sometimes buy the canes at thrift stores without realizing there's a sword inside.
Howell emphasized that people can't take anything onboard that resembles a weapon, including toy guns and squishy stress balls that look like hand grenades.

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NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) - A Florida golfer made the shot of his life with a putter when he used it to escape an alligator that had grabbed him by the ankle.
Tony Aarts used his putter to jab the gator in the eyes before the alligator let him go.
WINK-TV reports that Aarts was playing at the Magnolia Landing Golf & Country Club in the Fort Myers area last Wednesday when he heard a splash while approaching the fourth hole.
He says the gator grabbed his right ankle and he ended up on his back before they both rolled into a water hazard. The gator let ago after the jabs to the eye.
State wildlife workers captured the gator and put it down.
Aarts was treated and released from a hospital.

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CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) - A divorced couple cannot be forced to pay college tuition for their estranged daughter, a state appellate court ruled.
Caitlyn Ricci has argued that her parents should pay portions of the costs she incurred while attending the former Gloucester County College and later, Temple University, where she enrolled without her parents' blessings.
Two lower court judges ordered her parents to pay some costs. But the appellate court rejected those rulings, finding Thursday that detailed hearings must first be held to determine whether Caitlyn was considered legally emancipated after she moved in with her paternal grandparents.
Once that determination is made, a judge must then rule on the parents' responsibility to pay for college costs.
The court fight began after the parents obtained a March 2013 consent order emancipating their then 21-year-old daughter. State law mandates that parents can only be ordered to contribute to the college costs of children who are not emancipated.
In its decision, the appellate court wrote that "a parent cannot be viewed as a 'wallet' and deprived of involvement of college decision making process."
A lawyer for Ricci's mother says the family has reconciled while the appeal was making its way through the legal system. But further details were not disclosed.

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CLAY, N.Y. (AP) - State police say a former leasing agent for a central New York apartment complex stole more than $14,000 in quarters from coin-operated laundry machines.
Troopers say Alisha Russell, of Syracuse, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with grand larceny. Police say she stole the funds over a 10-month period from the machines at a complex in the town of Clay, just north of Syracuse.
Investigators told The Post-Standard that Russell had a key to the machines and regularly collected money from them as part of her job. Police say she lost her job for unrelated reasons before the investigation into the coin thefts began.
Russell has been released on her own recognizance. A phone number listed for her wasn't accepting messages and her lawyer didn't immediately return a phone message.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- An inauguration poster of President Donald Trump that included a misspelling in a quote has been removed from the online store of the Library of Congress.
The poster includes Trump's quote, "No dream is too big, no challenge is to great. Nothing we want for the future is beyond our reach." The phrase should be "too great."
Twitter users quickly spotted the error over the weekend and the item was removed. An archived version of the listing is accessible through the Internet Archive website.
The marketing materials for the poster came from a third party vendor and the Library regrets not catching the mistake, said Library spokeswoman Gayle Osterberg.
"The item itself does not contain the error," she said.
It's at least the third high-profile spelling error from the government of late. The Education Department misspelled the name of W.E.B. DuBois on Twitter Sunday and mistyped again when apologizing for the error.

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DENVER (AP) - An Army drone that disappeared on a training flight in southern Arizona has been found hundreds of miles away in Colorado, and the military is trying to figure out how it got there.
Officials at Fort Huachuca (wah-CHU'-kuh), Arizona, say a hiker found the $1.5 million Shadow drone stuck in a tree Thursday. Officials couldn't immediately say where in Colorado it was found. It was missing a wing.
Soldiers lost contact with the drone at Fort Huachuca nine days earlier. A search failed to find it, and the Army concluded it probably crashed and disintegrated in  the area.
Officials say the drone is capable of flying for eight or nine hours.
Soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state had gone to the Arizona post to train with the aircraft.

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - A man was arrested after police say he stole a van from a Southern California mortuary with a dead body inside, returned it and then stole a different van from the same business.
Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback says a mortuary employee was nearly run over as he tried to stop the man as he drove away the second time Sunday.
Railsback says an officer investigating the theft of the first van chased the second van for more than two miles.  The suspect was arrested and could face charges including vehicle theft. Police didn't immediately release his name.
The Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper reports Monday that stealing a dead body isn't included in his list of charges because police believe he didn't mean to steal it.

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ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) - Police say a Vermont man instructing his cousin on how to handle a firearm accidentally discharged the gun, sending a bullet into his neighbor's bathtub.
The Caledonian Record reports police said 33-year-old Shawn Young, of St. Johnsbury, pleaded not guilty to reckless endangerment on Monday, but then expressed a desire at arraignment to settle the charge. A change of plea hearing was scheduled for Feb. 27.
Police said the incident happened in November.
The neighbor, 68-year-old Christine Oliver, showed police a hole in her bedroom and part of the wall. The bullet was found in her bathtub. She wasn't hurt.

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GREELEY, Colo. (AP) - A baby sitter accused of using two children in her care to rob a Colorado bank has pleaded guilty to theft, forgery and attempted robbery.
The Greeley Tribune reports Rachel Einspahr was sentenced to six years in prison after entering her plea Friday.
Einspahr was charged with robbing a bank in the town in Severance last May. Authorities say she had two sisters in her car when she went to a drive-up lane and passed a note to a teller saying an armed man was in the back seat threatening the children and demanding money.
One child later told police there was no gunman.
Some of the charges against Einspahr stemmed from separate allegations that she was skimming money from a business she managed for someone else.
 

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