Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, March 22nd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, March 22nd

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ELKHART, Ind. (AP) -- A man who was initially denied an Indiana license plate reading "ATHE1ST" now has the personalized plate.
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles denied Chris Bontrager's first request in February without citing a specific reason. The bureau's denial letter to Bontrager noted the agency could refuse a personalized plate if it had a connotation offensive to good taste or decency, was misleading or deemed improper.
Bontrager believed the decision was religiously motivated, and he filed an appeal with the state. He said the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana helped the appeal process move quickly, without him having to testify before an appeals panel, The Elkhart Truth reported.
"My intention was never to litigate this matter," said Bontrager, who lives in Goshen. "I just felt that the process should be more transparent."
The effort culminated in him receiving the new license plate on Monday.
The BMV issued a short statement on Bontrager's case, affirming the state's ability to deny any plate at will. The American Civil Liberties Union didn't respond to the newspaper's request for comment.
Both the Indiana Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court have sided with the state's ability to decide whether a message on a personalized plate would be approved or denied, saying the messages amount to "government speech."

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EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (AP) -- Authorities on Long Island say an 83-year-old man has been arrested after checking himself out of a hospital and stealing an ambulance.
Police say Donald Winkler, of Merrick, was upset with the quality of care he was receiving and checked himself out of Nassau University Medical Center around 1 a.m. Tuesday. Investigators say Winkler then stole an ambulance from the hospital parking lot that had the keys in the ignition.
Police say they later found the man at a nearby 7-Eleven. Investigators say he admitted to taking the ambulance.
Winkler was arrested, taken back to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Bail was set at $3,000 at a bedside arraignment.
Winkler is charged with second-degree grand larceny. He is represented by Legal Aid, which does not comment on pending cases.

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(AOL) When you think of finding a treasure in your meal you likely imagine oysters or something sparkling in a celebratory glass of champagne. A hard boiled egg is probably the last thing you'd think of.
Sally Thompson is already sporting a diamond on her finger in anticipation of her wedding to Steven Warwick, but this lucky lady found another diamond in her breakfast and she didn't even have to dig to the bottom of a cereal box.
One has to wonder how a diamond got into an egg. Was this the result of what the chicken who laid the egg was eating?
It makes you re-think hiding plastic eggs for easter. Perhaps the key is hiding real eggs from Ms. Thompson's grocer.

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BEIJING - A busy public restroom in China has begun deploying high-tech facial recognition technology to wipe out the problem of toilet paper theft.
At Temple of Heaven, a popular tourist attraction in Beijing, users must stand for three seconds in front of a camera-equipped dispenser in order to receive a two-foot section of bathroom tissue.
The $1,000 machine will not dispense any more to the same user for the next nine minutes.
The unusual restriction aims to "cope with the behavior of taking public toilet paper home which is theft and abuse of public resource," a park manager told NBC News.
After providing toilet paper for free for 10 years, "we decided to use face recognition technology as our latest measure to curb excessive paper use which affects the interests of other users," added the official, who gave his family name as Xing.
Toilet paper is not readily available in most public bathrooms in China.
Most of the people who take toilet paper home are "middle-aged and old people, who come to the park regularly," according to Xing.
The machine has provoked a debate on Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblogging platform, with one user commenting: "How pathetic. Why do we need to be supervised on EVERYTHING!"
Concerns about privacy are baseless because "we won't be using the facial images for other purposes," Xing said.
Images of users will be "automatically deleted after nine minutes," said Lei Zhenshan, marketing director of the Shenzhen-based device manufacturer.
Beijing's Olympic Park, hospitals and universities have also installed similar machines, Lei said.

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(9NEWS) The Queensland teenager who was attacked by a crocodile on a dare has relived the "pure agony" he felt in the moments after the attack.
Lee De Paauw, 18, says he'd had about "ten cups of goon" with friends when he deliberately jumped into the Johnstone River at Innisfail early on Sunday morning, to impress "a beautiful backpacker" named Sophie Paterson.
He had been teasing a group of travellers by telling them crocodiles were more likely to attack a backpacker than an Australian, when he decided to prove his point and jump into the water.
The crocodile grabbed him almost immediately.
"(The crocodile) took me underneath the water, shook its head a bit, and I managed to get a good punch in on its eye, and then it let go and I swam back to the stairs," Mr De Paauw told The TODAY Show.
The Queensland teen said he didn't feel any pain at first, but that didn't last long.
"I didn't feel no pain at first, it was all adrenalin, but afterwards when I walked up to the main street I was just in pure agony," he said.
"I couldn't stop screaming."
Ms Paterson said she "watched on in horror" as a three-meter crocodile suddenly latched onto the dare-devil's arm.
"I've never heard a guy scream like that," she told 9NEWS.
"There was a lot of blood, a lot of bone."
When TODAY host Karl Stefanovic asked Mr De Paauw if Ms Paterson was special to him, however, he seemed less than enthusiastic.
"She's not really, just another girl," he said.
"But she's really good looking and had been kind to me the night before."
Ms Paterson has agreed to go to the movies with Mr De Paauw following the stunt, prompting his belief "it was all worth it".
He has been released from hospital, where he was treated for two broken bones and gauge marks, but added he will go back in later today for another procedure.
The crocodile that attacked Mr De Paauw is reportedly well known to locals. It's said to be around three metres long, and frequently swims around the boats ported along the Johnstone River.
A trap has been set up to catch it despite Mr De Paauw's wish for it to remain unharmed.
"I don't want that crocodile harmed. I want it to life a happy life," he said.

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DAKAR, Senegal (AP) -- An Islamic television station in Senegal says it has filed a formal complaint against unknown saboteur "X'' for taking over the network and airing pornography instead of its regularly scheduled religious programming.
Viewers tuning into Touba TV on Monday afternoon got a shock when hardcore pornography was aired from 1:10 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Touba TV on Wednesday called the broadcasting blunder a "criminal act" and said the formal complaint will make it possible to identify the "authors who have an unknown agenda."
The broadcaster said its viewers were offended, and it condemned the attempt as a "satanic move" to sabotage the values it advocates.
The privately run station usually broadcasts religious programs advocating Islamic values and teachings, including sermons and prayers.

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FREEPORT (WREX) - Prom is a time most high school students look forward to. At Aquin High School Tuesday, juniors and seniors picked their dates with a decades-old tradition.
"New dates, new skits, it's always fun," Senior Dennis Neery said. "The new themes for the prom, it's always a great experience."
This is Aquin's 91st prom draw. Here's how it works: the boys drew the names of girls at random in the library while the girls waited for them in the gym.
Then the boys came out and performed a skit before they revealed who their date is. It's a tradition, the school says, is about bonding with classmates.
"I think most people are in disbelief and a lot of people say they would hate it," Junior Class Adviser Michelle Gallagher said. "But I think after they kind of hear the rest of the story and hear what goes into it I think a lot of people are actually intrigued by it. It's less of a date and more like something fun to do with your classmates."
The tradition started back in 1926 to make sure all students had a date to prom.

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Auburn, CA - A California deputy couldn't duck away from one follower.
Placer County Sheriff's Deputy Alexis Whiteley was assisting with traffic control Thursday night at an injury accident in Auburn.
That's when a duck -- nicknamed "Quackers" -- came waddling out of the bushes and took an instant liking to her.
The duck followed Deputy Whiteley around for the more than 30 minutes she was out there.
A neighbor finally came along and said he would escort Quackers back to his nearby home.

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Reading, England - Actor George Clooney surprised an elderly fan in England over the weekend!
Clooney visited Pat Adams at her assisted living home to celebrate her 87th birthday.
The actor brought a card and flowers as he stopped by for a chat and a picture with his long-time admirer.
A worker at the Sunrise of Sonning Retirement and Assisted Living Facility in Reading posted this picture of the beaming pair on Facebook.

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A 3-year-old Atlanta girl went viral after she had an unforgettable interaction with Pope Francis on Wednesday.
Estella Westrick, 3, met the pope with her godfather in Rome. He went in for a kiss and she snatched the skullcap -- known as a zucchetto -- right off his head.
As shown in the video Mountain Butorac posted to Twitter, Estella is leaned forward to get a kiss from the pope and she made her move to snatch his white zucchetto.
The crowd erupted in laughter, as did Pope Francis, who simply returned the cap to hi head and moved on with his greetings.
The video ends with Butorac laughing and saying in disbelief, "she really took his hat!" 

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