Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, February 14th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, February 14th

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ATLANTA (AP) -- More than a week after the Falcons fell victim to the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, an Atlanta zoo has named a cockroach after Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Zoo Atlanta says on its Facebook page that it had a bet with Rhode Island's Roger Williams Park Zoo that called for the loser to name a baby animal after the winning team's star quarterback. Both zoos figured the loser would be pretty bitter about the game, so they agreed the animal in question would be a Madagascar hissing cockroach.
The zoo introduced a whole family of cockroaches in a video Monday , including a tiny Tom Brady.
Brady and the Patriots came back from a 25-point deficit to defeat Atlanta 34-28 in overtime to win the team's fifth Super Bowl title.

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VIENNA (AP) -- Six months after her cat ran away, a woman in the Netherlands is looking forward to a reunion - in an Austrian village 950 kilometers (nearly 600 miles) away.
Austrian state broadcaster ORF reports that Pepper recently turned up in Aschbach-Markt, west of Vienna.
She looked to be just another stray to the person who brought her to a local veterinarian. But an examination revealed that the well-traveled feline was microchipped, allowing veterinarian Katharina Zoechling to trace the owner and through photos, establish that the cat was indeed hers.
ORF said Tuesday that the unnamed owner is planning a trip to the Austrian village to claim Pepper. And while how the cat got there may never be known, one guess is she hitch-hiked - on the back of a truck.

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GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) -- A Mississippi high school student who dyed his hair pink was suspended for violating the district's dress code policy.
Timothy Jenkins is a freshman at Gulfport High School. He tells WLOX-TV that 250 classmates have signed a petition to change the requirement that hair be a natural-looking color.
A statement from the district says dress code policies are reviewed annually and are handled openly in a process that includes business leaders, parents, students and educators.
Jenkins says he got multiple warnings before his suspension, with school officials saying it distracted other students.
His mother, Sheryl Jenkins, says the policy infringes on his rights and her right as a parent to decide what's best for her child.
He has since returned his hair to its natural black color.

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ERIE, Pa. (AP) -- A state court panel says a Pennsylvania man caught driving without a license 22 times got the punishment he deserved.
Randy Stallsmith had claimed that his 3-to 6-month prison term was excessive for driving offense No. 22 in 2015. He pleaded guilty to driving without a license.
Pennlive.com reports a state Superior Court panel upheld the sentence, saying the 49-year-old Erie County man's past behavior sank his appeal.
Stallsmith appealed to the Superior Court because a county judge wouldn't allow him to serve his time on work release.
Stallsmith argued he should've received a lighter sentence because he took responsibility for his actions.
The panel agreed with the county judge, saying with 22 offenses already on his record, Stallsmith "provided no indication that his aberrant conduct would cease."

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NORWALK, Conn. (AP) - Nothing says love like a free STD test.
One Connecticut city is celebrating Valentine's Day by offering free testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.
The Norwalk Health Department normally charges $10 for the service, but is waiving the fee on Tuesday.
Theresa Argondezzi, a health educator with the department, tells The Hour that Valentine's Day is a great time to be open and honest about sexual health with loved ones.
She says there were four new cases of HIV in Norwalk in 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, and 335 city residents living with HIV. Norwalk falls below the state average for the number of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis cases.
Norwalk is a coastal city of about 90,000 residents in southwestern Connecticut.

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A 20-year-old Lincoln man has been given probation for hiding under parked vehicles and touching women's feet.
Online court records say Jesse Johnson was sentenced Friday to two years of probation on each of five convictions for disturbing the peace. He'd pleaded no contest after prosecutors dropped other charges. The sentences are to run at the same time.
Lincoln police say five women last year reported that, as they stepped into their vehicles in public lots, someone under their vehicles grabbed their feet or ankles.

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VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) - The head of Lithuania's state tourism agency has resigned after admitting her agency promoted the Baltic country in an international social media campaign by using landscape photos taken in other countries.
Jurgita Kazlauskiene resigned Friday after local media had blasted the State Tourism Department for its campaign "Real is Beautiful" for using stock images from Nordic and eastern European countries.
Kazlauskiene said she stepped down so "people who work here don't become objects of ongoing attacks."
When the 140,000-euro ($149,000) campaign was launched in October, it sparked dozens of ironic entries on social media.
Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis posted a tongue-in-the-cheek Facebook comment on Thursday. Next to a photo of the European Union's headquarters in Brussels he wrote "we are moving government to this building tomorrow. Real is beautiful."

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Dogs from petite papillons to muscular Rottweilers showed off their four-footed agility Saturday at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, tackling obstacles from hurdles to tunnels. And next door, so did some decidedly rare breeds for the Westminster world:
Cats.
For the first time, felines sidled up to the nation's premier dog show, as part of an informational companion event showcasing various breeds of both species. It included a cat agility demonstration contest, while more than 300 of the nation's top agility dogs vied in a more formal competition.
It didn't exactly mean there were cats in the 140-year-old dog show, but it came close enough to prompt some "what?!" and waggish alarm about a breakdown in the animal social order. Some Twitter users have portrayed the development as a sign of impending cat-astrophe. A satirical Chicago Tribune column declared that "we can't just let cats start racing across the borders of traditional dog events."
Even some Westminster competitors found the juxtaposition jarring - or "so weird," in the words of Hannah Naiburg of Milford, Connecticut, who guided her terrier mix, Molly, in Westminster's agility contest. But others tipped their hats to the cats that were padding and prowling around their own course, most of them trying the sport for the first time.
"Good for them," said Tina Ackerman of Goffstown, New Hampshire, who handled her bichon frise, Bubba Watson. "There's no way we could ever have trained any of our cats to do agility."
Bemisu, a 1-year-old sphynx cat nicknamed Misha, had never tried the sport before Saturday. But within a half-hour, she was following owner Blake Gipson's toy-dangling signals to hop through hoops and run through a mesh tunnel - so well that she bested about 30 other cats to win.
"I had no idea she would learn so fast," said Gipson, whose nearly hairless, down-covered cats share his Denver home with a pit bull. "She's smarter than I ever gave her credit for."
If Saturday's "Meet the Breeds" event - sponsored by Westminster, the American Kennel Club and The International Cat Association - gave felines their first chance to share Westminster's spotlight, it also illustrated that there's plenty of everyday crossover between the dog and cat camps. In fact, a 2011 CBS News poll found that 23 percent of American pet owners have both a dog and a cat.
Agility is increasingly popular for both species, seen as a way to give the animals activity and strengthen the bond between pets and their people.
Lonnie, a mixed-breed dog born in an animal shelter, used to be "afraid of everything," even being in a car, owner Robin Lembo said. She started training Lonnie in obedience and then agility to build her confidence. Now, the 8-year-old dog is so outgoing that she eagerly ran the agility course in front of crowds Saturday.
And Lembo is all for cats getting into the agility act.
"I keep telling my husband to try it - because he's a cat lover," said Lembo, of West Milford, New Jersey.
As every cat owner who has watched his pet walk along a railing knows, feats of agility come naturally to many felines. But training? A cat?
It's easier than many people think, though cats are often more motivated by chasing toys than getting treats, said Vickie Shields, who oversaw Saturday's agility demonstrations. A former trainer of dogs for field trials, she helped organize cat agility as a sport in 2003, largely with the goal of getting people to play more with their cats.
"People think cats are solitary - they aren't," said Shields, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, noting that wild cats often form colonies. "You can do stuff with them, too - it's not just dogs."

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- A New Jersey man has been convicted in federal court of breaking into a Connecticut warehouse and stealing more than 8,000 cartons of cigarettes worth about $500,000.
Andrew Oreckinto, of Matawan (MA'-tuh-wahn), New Jersey, was convicted on Monday of theft from an interstate shipment. He faces up to a decade in prison.
Prosecutors say surveillance cameras recorded the 52-year-old Oreckinto breaking into New Britain Candy in Wethersfield, Connecticut, in March 2011. A glue-like substance was used to disable door locks. Wires to an outside surveillance camera and a phone line were also cut.
Authorities linked Oreckinto to the theft by analyzing his call history.
Oreckinto is currently serving a five-year prison term in New Jersey for stealing $100,000 worth of copper cable and selling it for scrap.

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No guard dog here: An Idaho man said his pet squirrel foiled a home invasion burglary in between jumping across the furniture and wolfing down snacks.
Adam Pearl said Monday he knew something was off when he approached his home in Meridian last week and spotted snow prints headed to the backyard. Then he noticed scratches around his gun safe -- as if somebody had tried to get in.
But his squirrel, Joey, seemed just fine.
So Pearl called a police officer, who seemed startled by the rodent scurrying between her legs, KIVI reported. "She says, 'Whoa, what was that,' and I said, 'Ahhh don't worry about that, that's just Joey, my pet squirrel, you know.'"
He added, "I said, well, he usually doesn't bite but you never know 'cause he is a squirrel.
Sure enough, Officer Ashley Turner reportedly returned hours later carrying some of his stolen items, and saying she may have solved the case. 
Pearl said the officer had started questioning a suspect. "She said while she was questioning the individual he had scratches on his hands. So she asked him, 'Did you get that from the squirrel?' And he says, 'Yeah, damn thing kept attacking me and wouldn't stop until I left.'"
The proud owner said he thanked his squirrel with its favorite snack: not nuts, but candy. "He is a pain in the butt, but he is great."
It's not clear exactly how much the unnamed suspect may have stolen. Meridian is about 15 minutes west of Boise.

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