Mad Minute stories from Monday, March 20th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Monday, March 20th

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PARIS (AP) -- Arrests can't come any easier than this.
French gendarmes called to a robbery found the suspected thief stuck in a hole he'd made with a hammer in a shop window.
The national gendarmerie on Sunday published a photo appearing to show the man half-in and half-out of the hole.
"Drunk, he robbed a shop but got stuck ... in the window before being arrested," the gendarmerie tweeted, with the hashtag "ThugLife."
The 46-year-old man was arrested Thursday morning in the Pyrenees town of Mauleon-Licharre in southwest France, a duty officer for the regional gendarmerie told The Associated Press.
Firefighters were called to free the man, who was then taken into custody, said the officer, who wouldn't be quoted by name, citing official policy.

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- A man who helped pitch Dos Equis beer as the Most Interesting Man in the World turned his attention from his favorite beer to his favorite beard by judging a competition called Vermont Beardies.
Actor Jonathan Goldsmith, who lives in Manchester and sports a closely cropped white beard that he maintains with a lice comb given to him by a veterinarian, was one of four judges who chose the contest's winner in Burlington on Saturday.
This year's honors went to Bryan Sturge, of Barre, who hasn't cut his beard in almost two years.
The event benefits Make-a-Wish Vermont, which helps grant wishes to children living with life-threatening conditions. Organizers said Saturday night that they'd raised nearly $30,000.
The competition was judged in three categories: urban beard, freestyle and backwoods. Each contestant also had to tell an interesting story about his beard. Out of the more than 100 original entrants, the top 30 were invited to the in-person finals.
Sturge entered the backwoods competition as a tribute to his 11-year-old daughter Zoey, who died of cancer in 2013 before her Make-a-Wish request to go to Disney World and swim with the dolphins could be granted.
When Zoey was sick, Sturge promised Zoey he wouldn't shave until she got better. After she died, he shaved a couple times but always regrew his beard. He said he entered the contest to give back to Make-a-Wish so that other children could be granted wishes that Zoey never got to experience.
Goldsmith, who spent nine years as the pitchman with the gravelly voice for Dos Equis, said there are a few things he's looking for in a winning beard.
"The character of the beard, how it brings forth something indigenous to the individual, something personal," Goldsmith said.
While the premise of the contest is humorous, the reason for it can be heart-wrenching.
"It's a promise that we made," Sturge said. "It's love. It's a memory. It's how she last saw me, with a beard. She didn't want me to shave it because of our promise. I offered to shave for her so she could see me without it. She said, 'No, that's not the deal.'"

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NEW YORK (AP) -- It wasn't an ordinary police call for someone trying to duck a subway fare.
New York City officers found themselves chasing down a duck that strayed onto the tracks at a Brooklyn subway station Friday morning.
Police arrived at the Jefferson Street station on the L line around 9 a.m. to find the duck down in the tracks.
Officers Frantz Chauvet and Anastasiya Mishchenko and detectives Kevin Conway and Michael Black worked to rescue it.
The New York Police Department's Transit Bureau posted video on Twitter of the officers carrying the bird along the platform, and later releasing the duck in a park from a police-tape-wrapped box.
The bird hopped out and waddled off down a snowy path.
Chief Joseph Fox quipped that the "apprehension went swimmingly."

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A California woman who took over her husband's methamphetamine distribution activities in Montana after he died has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison.
The Billings Gazette reports Charity Leigh Mendonsa of Rancho Mirage, California, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute meth as part of a plea deal.
The 41-year-old woman was accused of distributing 2 ½ pounds of meth over a six-month period.
Prosecutors say Mendonsa began dealing meth after her husband died in 2015. They say his clients went to Mendonsa for meth and she began making drug runs to California for redistribution in Billings.
Mendonsa testified against her co-conspirators, 68-year-old Gary Lee Quigg and his 48-year-old wife. The couple was convicted of meth trafficking charges and are awaiting sentencing.

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A new state lawmaker said she's surprised by the "insane amount of drinking" that goes on in the State House.
Providence Democratic Rep. Moira Walsh told WPRO-AM on Tuesday that lawmakers have "file cabinets full of booze." She described how they recently took shots on the floor of the House of Representatives to celebrate Dominican Republic Independence Day.
Walsh took office in January after ousting a longtime incumbent in last year's Democratic primary and is known for being blunt. She was fired from her job as a waitress in January after her employer said her liberal political views hurt the restaurant's reputation.
"It is the drinking that blows my mind," she told talk show host Matt Allen. "You cannot operate a motor vehicle when you've had two beers, but you can make laws that affect people's lives forever when you're half in the bag? That's outrageous."
Legislative leaders late Tuesday sought to dismiss her claims of rampant drinking, with Democratic House Majority Leader Joseph Shekarchi telling the Providence Journal he has never seen anyone intoxicated on the floor or impaired while voting.
But it's not uncommon for Rhode Island legislators to have toasts of alcohol during celebratory occasions. One of the biggest is next week ahead of St. Patrick's Day. Nor are Rhode Island lawmakers alone in drinking on the job, though some other states have sought to curb the practice.
In Massachusetts, late-night antics ultimately forced a rules change essentially banning the House of Representatives from meeting past midnight. A Missouri lawmaker last year proposed legislation banning smoking and alcohol in the Statehouse. And a pattern of drunken-driving arrests of California lawmakers led the legislature to provide them free after-hours transportation, though the free rides were ended in 2015 in an attempt to restore public trust.
Alcohol is prohibited in some capitols, including Oklahoma and Idaho. In Oklahoma, it's also a violation of House and Senate rules for a member to be intoxicated on the floor.
Walsh has criticized Rhode Island's political culture before.
She said last year that "one of the things I'm personally very concerned about is I've heard rumors that there's drinking during sessions. I don't imagine that's going to go over well with me." She also said as "a low-income single mother" she was bothered that too much is decided at late-night dinner meetings where some legislators commiserate.
Joking with WPRO's host Tuesday about the possibility of a police checkpoint outside the legislators' parking lot, Walsh said, "I'm going to be the person who ruined drinking at the State House. They'll love me forever."

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(FOX) A furious zoo claims their raccoon was left obsessed with women's breasts after it featured in an "erotic advert" without their knowledge.
The Moscow petting zoo has filed a lawsuit against video studio Art-Msk who rented the creature for what the zoo believed would be a regular commercial last year.
However the raunchy advertisement featured a topless model lying on the bed playing with the tiny animal, as saucy footage shows the beautiful blonde at one point using the raccoon to cover her exposed boobs.
When the ad firm refused to withdraw the clip, the zoo launched legal action.
Zoo spokesman Viktor Kiryukhin told the BBC that the mammal Thomas was traumatised when he returned and that staff "noticed he was attracted to women's breasts".
He added: "It took two to three months to change his behaviour.
"Now he is happy again, but he was sad before."
The zoo, which has the motto 'little animals are not toys', said that it is "immoral to mix nature with eroticism".

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SPRINGFIELD, Fla. (AP) - Officials in a Florida Panhandle city say their former website has been taken over by someone hosting pornographic content.
The Panama City News Herald reports that the city of Springfield began receiving complaints last week from citizens who were visiting the city's old website.
Mayor Ralph Hammond said the city apparently let the old domain name expire, and the site now contains pornography.
Springfield switched its website to a .gov domain about three years ago. The city's information technology department is seeking to buy back the old domain and any domains names similar to the city's current website, springfield.fl.gov.

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British officials didn't want to name a polar research ship "Boaty McBoatface," but they had no problem giving the name to a new submarine, NBC News reported. 
Last year, the British government agency Natural Environment Research Council asked the public for help naming its new ship. The public chose "Boaty McBoatface," but the agency opted to honor a famed naturalist instead. 
So "Boaty McBoatface," the remote-controlled sub, will accompany the RSS Sir David Attenborough. It makes its first voyage Friday through the icy waters of Antarctica collecting data and samples. 

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A Danish teenager has found parts of a German World War II airplane that likely crashed in a northern Denmark swamp 72 years ago - including the remains of a man who might have been its pilot.
Local archaeologist Torben Sarauw said Thursday that 14-year-old Daniel Rom Kristiansen used a metal detector to make "the fantastic finding," adding the parts lied five to six meters underground.
Rom Kristiansen, who was not immediately available for comment, told Denmark's TV2 channel he was checking out a story his grandfather had told about a Nazi Germany plane that had crashed nearby in 1944.
Soeren Flensted, a WWII historian specialized in German airplanes, said the pilot might have been someone with little experience who was on a training mission.
"There are records that someone in northern Denmark crashed into a mire in November 1944, and it would be impossible to get him up," Flensted said. "So that could be him."
Sarauw said a team also unearthed a German Luftwaffe uniform and bones plus personal items including three condoms and cigarette rolling paper.
A local museum is investigating the engine, guns and twisted fuselage parts from the wreck, Sarauw said. Danish police took the bones for investigation.
Marko Naoki Lins, a spokesman for Germany's embassy in Copenhagen, said a German organization that takes care of war graves and keep records of deceased German WWII soldiers was helping out with identifying the pilot.

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The state agency overseeing Everglades restoration projects plans to pay people to kill Burmese pythons in the wetlands.
The South Florida Water Management District said in a statement Thursday that 25 people will be selected for a 60-day pilot program that aims to remove the invasive predators from state-owned lands.
Officials say pythons are decimating populations of native Florida mammals, which deprives panthers, alligators, bobcats and birds of their primary food source in the Everglades.
Starting April 1, participants will be given special access to python-infested district property in Miami-Dade County. They'll be paid minimum wage ($8.10) up to eight hours each day, plus $50 per python. They'll receive extra money for snakes measuring longer than 4 feet and for eliminating python nests with eggs.
To be eligible for the job, applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid driver's license and email address, posess a smart phone that can be tracked through GPS, have not been convicted of a felony or wildlife-related offense within the last five years, and must submit to a criminal background check.
Participants are allowed to use firearms to remove pythons, said South Florida Water Management District.
Registration begin Friday at https://www.sfwmd.gov/our-work/python-program

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