Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, March 8th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, March 8th

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HARLINGEN, Texas (AP) - A South Texas woman who says she gave up beer for Lent won a case of Budweiser delivered to her home by a team of Clydesdales.
The Valley Morning Star reports Leandra Ruiz received the beer Thursday in a special drop-off, via the huge horses, at her neighborhood in Harlingen.
The 35-year-old Ruiz says that several weeks ago she entered an online contest for a chance at home delivery of some beer. Ruiz, who says she was surprised to learn she won, was on hand with family and friends to watch the Clydesdales pull up to her home.
The Budweiser carriage drivers also took Ruiz for a ride around the block.
The Clydesdales were in South Texas for this weekend's BorderFest celebration in Hidalgo (hih-DAL'-goh).

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BANGKOK (AP) -- Tossing coins in a fountain for luck is a popular superstition, but a similar belief brought misery to a sea turtle in Thailand from whom doctors have removed 915 coins.
Veterinarians in Bangkok operated Monday on the 25-year-old female green sea turtle nicknamed "Bank," whose indigestible diet was a result of many tourists seeking good fortune tossing coins into her pool over many years in the eastern town of Sri Racha.
Many Thais believe that throwing coins on turtles will bring longevity.
Typically, a green sea turtle has a lifespan of around 80 years, said Roongroje Thanawongnuwech, dean of Chulalongkorn University's veterinary faculty. It is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The loose change eventually formed a heavy ball in her stomach weighing 5 kilograms (11 pounds). The weight cracked the turtle's ventral shell, causing a life-threatening infection.
Five surgeons from Chulalongkorn University's veterinary faculty patiently removed the coins over four hours while "Bank" was under general anesthesia. The stash was too big to take out through the 10-cm (4-inch) incision they had made, so it had to be removed a few coins at a time. Many of them had corroded or partially dissolved.
"The result is satisfactory. Now it's up to Bank how much she can recover," said Pasakorn Briksawan, one of the surgical team. While recovering in Chulalongkorn University's animal hospital, the turtle will be on a liquid diet for the next two weeks.
Bank was brought in to veterinarians by the navy, which found her ailing in her seaside hometown.
It was only after a detailed 3D scan that veterinarians pinpointed the weighty and unexpected problem. As well as the coins they also found 2 fish hooks, which were also removed today.
The surgery team leader said Monday that when she discovered the cause of the turtle's agony she was furious.
"I felt angry that humans, whether or not they meant to do it or if they did it without thinking, had caused harm to this turtle," said Nantarika Chansue, head of Chulalongkorn University's veterinary medical aquatic animal research center.
Thai media began publicizing the turtle's tale last month after she was found, and in response, some 15,000 baht ($428) in donations was raised from the public to pay for her surgery.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A long-haul semitrailer driver from Minnesota thought he had lost his feline traveling companion for good when the cat jumped out of his truck at a rest stop in Ohio.
But it was a joyful reunion for Paul Robertson and his beloved Percy when he discovered the cat had been clinging to the undercarriage of his 18-wheeler for 400 miles through snow and rain.
Percy jumped out of a semitrailer window while Robertson was sleeping at the rest stop. After a long search, Robertson says he knew he had to leave Percy behind to meet a delivery deadline.
Robertson says when he finally reached Shoals, Indiana, he spotted what he thought was a stray cat near his truck. As he got a closer look he was astonished to discover it was Percy.
Robertson says "it was a lovefest" after that.

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MONROE, Conn. (AP) -- A Connecticut woman who is accused of letting her 10-year-old son drive her car on public roads and streaming it on Facebook Live is due in court at the end of the week.
Monroe resident Lisa Nussbaum was charged Friday with risk of injury or impairing morals of a minor. She has been released on a promise to appear in Superior Court in Bridgeport on Friday.
Police say Nussbaum was arrested after several residents complained to officers of a live-streaming video on Facebook showing a child driving a car.
Police say officers determined Nussbaum was recording her son drive the car on public roads throughout the town. Police say the video was taken from the passenger seat of Nussbaum's vehicle.
The Connecticut Post reports Nussbaum on Monday hinted there may be more to the story.

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MAYVILLE, Wis. (AP) -- Firefighters in the Wisconsin community of Mayville had to respond to a fire at a familiar scene - their own firehouse.
Firefighters were dispatched round 10 p.m. Saturday after a passer-by reported seeing flames at the station, which is not staffed around the clock.
The volunteer fire department said in a statement Sunday that crews arrived to find a vehicle on fire inside the station and put it out. The fire was confined to the vehicle, but the station had to be ventilated due to the heavy smoke.
Investigators are still trying to figure out what sparked the fire. The department says the fire won't affect its operations.
Cleanup was underway Sunday.
Mayville is about 45 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

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WEEHAWKEN, N.J. (AP) -- Transit police say they've arrested a New Jersey man who owes nearly $51,000 in unpaid tolls and fees.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police say Tai Denunzio was arrested around 7:40 a.m. Tuesday at the Lincoln Tunnel in Weehawken, just outside New York City.
The 50-year-old man from West New York, New Jersey, is charged with theft. It wasn't known Tuesday if he's retained an attorney.
Authorities say Denunzio owes $10,850 in tolls and $40,100 in fees as the result of 802 electronic toll payment violations.

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FORT MCCOY, Fla. (AP) -- People may want to think twice before going for a swim at the Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area in north Florida.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office posted photos on its official Facebook account of a 13-foot alligator that had "taken residence" in a designated swimming zone in the recreation area near Ocala.
Deputy David Christmas called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Saturday after getting a call about the gator. The wildlife agency called in local trappers who helped the deputy pull the gator from the swimming hole.
The trappers took custody of the gator, and the area was reopened to swimmers.

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DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) - Authorities in Florida's Panhandle say a Texas man stole a deputy's patrol car while handcuffed.
According to the Walton County Sheriff's Office, deputies arrested 30-year-old Cody Dwayne Hynum of Highlands, Texas, on Friday in DeFuniak Springs for allegedly stealing a pickup truck and attempting to steal another vehicle.
Authorities told the Northwest Florida Daily News that after being handcuffed and put in the back of a patrol car, Hynum kicked out one of its windows.
The sheriff's office said Hynum got into the driver's seat and drove off while still handcuffed. Authorities said Hynum drove the vehicle into a fence before fleeing on foot into nearby woods, where he was caught.
Hynum was held without bond Saturday on multiple charges. Jail records didn't show whether Hynum had an attorney.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- A parking space at a garage in Park Slope, Brooklyn, is on the market for $300,000.
NBC New York says the last one there sold for $280,000.
A neighborhood resident, Julie Hollar, says the sky-high parking costs more than her parents paid for their house.
Julia Kite of the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives says it's also around the current price of a condo in another part of Brooklyn.
But it's the new normal since developers tor
DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) - Authorities in Florida's Panhandle say a Texas man stole a deputy's patrol car while handcuffed.
According to the Walton County Sheriff's Office, deputies arrested 30-year-old Cody Dwayne Hynum of Highlands, Texas, on Friday in DeFuniak Springs for allegedly stealing a pickup truck and attempting to steal another vehicle.
Authorities told the Northwest Florida Daily News that after being handcuffed and put in the back of a patrol car, Hynum kicked out one of its windows.
The sheriff's office said Hynum got into the driver's seat and drove off while still handcuffed. Authorities said Hynum drove the vehicle into a fence before fleeing on foot into nearby woods, where he was caught.
Hynum was held without bond Saturday on multiple charges. Jail records didn't show whether Hynum had an attorney.e down a 300-space garage to build new homes.
Karen Ratner says she paid more than $100,000 for her spot a few years ago.
She says there's just "no other parking available."

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CROSSVILLE, Ill. (AP) -- Mementoes of a southern Illinois couple's wedding and engagement have been found nearly 50 miles away after a tornado tore their home from its foundation.
A bag containing an engagement picture, wedding day invitations and a bride's garter was whisked from Charlie and Kim Jacobs' home in Crossville, Illinois, when the tornado hit around 10 p.m. on Feb. 28. The bag was later found- intact - on Tracy Vinson's farm in Hazleton, Indiana, according to WFIE-TV.
"I was like, 'I gotta find these people,'" Vinson told the television station. "This might be the one thing they have left from their home."
She posted photos on Facebook - and was able to track the couple down about 90 minutes later, thanks to dozens of comments and the post being shared.
"I was like, in tears, and I haven't even met these people yet," Vinson said. "I could imagine, if it happened to me, I would definitely want someone to."
Charlie and Kim Jacobs say they're amazed the photos and other mementoes traveled so far. Vinson and the couple plan to meet this week.
The tornado was on the ground for more than 50 minutes in the area between Carmi, Illinois, and Oakland City, Indiana. Forecasters estimated the maximum wind speed at more than 150 mph.

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