Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, April 26th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, April 26th

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Liberals who feel the current Republican presidential administration is driving them to drink now have the perfect place to do it.
A new bar, Coup, opened this month with protest-themed decor, a distinctly anti-President Donald Trump vibe and a promise by its owners to donate their profits to organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood.
Patrons are offered a chance to earmark where their money goes. When they buy a drink, they get a token to drop into one of a half-dozen jars, each labeled with the name of a nonprofit group. The list of recipients will rotate. Jars on tap this week included the Natural Resources Defense Council and Human Rights Watch. Tokens also are on sale for $5.
After labor costs, liquor bills and other expenses are paid, the profits are divided among the groups based on the number of tokens they receive.
The bar was the brainchild of partners Ravi DeRossi, Sother Teague and Max Green. It's housed in a small Manhattan space where DeRossi used to have a restaurant.
The decor is modern protest. Rolls of butcher paper have been attached to the walls, inscribed with slogans like "The Pilgrims were undocumented" and "They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds."
DeRossi, who owns several bars, said he was depressed by the election, which sent him into a dark mood for several weeks.
"I couldn't sit at home and sulk," he said. "I wanted to do something more positive."
The bar's name, Coup, is a reference to a sudden seizure of power from the government, rather than a house for chickens. DeRossi and Teague said it was the only name they all agreed on after starting out considering slightly less aggressive monikers.
DeRossi said he wasn't worried about backlash or bad reaction from Trump supporters.
"We're in New York City, where 90 percent voted essentially for this bar," he said.
All are welcome, he added.
"If people want to come in that are Trump supporters, they're more than welcome to come in and have a drink," he said. "They'll be treated with respect as long as they treat us with respect, and knowing that their money is going to these specific organizations."
Trump has promised to "make America great again," but his administration and his policies have drawn public protests.
For people looking to make less political donations at the bar, they could drop a token in a jar for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Choosing to drink at Coup "makes you feel like you're doing something," said Matthew Hayes, an attorney who was there with two friends. "Instead of just getting sotted, you can also throw something to a good cause."
He said it was also an opportunity to interact with strangers over topics like politics that people might avoid in other social settings.
"By putting yourself in a situation like this where it is a politically themed bar," he said, "that kind of takes politics off the Don't Talk About table."

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NEW YORK (AP) -- It's a salamander by any other name - and some of those names are comical.
The Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo is now proudly displaying two Eastern hellbenders - also known as "devil dogs," ''snot otters" or "old lasagna sides."
Eastern hellbenders have flattened heads and bodies, small eyes, and slimy, wrinkly skin. They're typically brown or reddish-brown with a pale underbelly.
There's also a serious side to the subject. Efforts are underway to conserve dwindling hellbender populations in the wild.
Adult hellbenders can be nearly 2 feet long. Only two larger salamander species are known to exist.

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NORTH LIMA, Ohio (AP) -- Police in Ohio are on the lookout for Bigfoot after a gift shop owner reported that statues of the hairy creature vanished from outside her store.
Arlene Fitzer tells WFMJ-TV in Youngstown that the three hand-painted, concrete statues disappeared from Farmer Dave's Gift Shop between Monday evening and Tuesday morning.
Fitzer suspects they were stolen but says they would have been difficult to lift and to hide. She's reviewing surveillance video for clues.
Two statues had been mounted on pedestals in front of her shop in Beaver Township, in rural northeast Ohio.
One is 3.5 feet (1.07 meters) tall. Another is 2.25 feet (0.69 meters). The third is considered the "baby" Bigfoot.
Fitzer says they range in value from $55 to $150.

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LANCASTER, N.Y. (AP) -- A mulch dye that leaked from a company's property is being blamed for turning the waters of a western New York creek a bright red.
Officials in the town of Lancaster say they were alerted late Tuesday morning that a miles-long stretch of the Scajaquada (skuh-JAK'-kwah-dah) Creek had turned red.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation says the discoloration was caused by about 175 gallons of mulch dye that leaked from a trailer at Superior Pallets. Co. in Lancaster.
DEC officials say the agency's fisheries experts inspected the creek and found that the dye wouldn't harm fish. The agency says it's investigating the spill, which was contained. The water started clearing up later Tuesday.

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NEW YORK (AP) - Department store Nordstrom is getting dragged through the mud on social media for selling a pair of dirty-looking jeans for $425.
Nordstrom's website says the jeans have a "caked-on muddy coating" to embody "rugged, Americana workwear." A matching mud denim jacket goes for the same price.
Some social media users criticized Nordstrom for selling high-priced jeans that they say mocked blue-collar workers.
Mike Rowe, who hosted the TV show "Dirty Jobs," said in a Facebook post that the jeans were an example of the country's "war on work" and called them "a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic."
Representatives at Nordstrom Inc. did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Efforts to reach PRPS, which makes the jeans and jacket, were unsuccessful.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Even Supreme Court justices forget to turn off their cellphones.
A high court argument Tuesday was interrupted by the familiar sound of a ring chime, and Justice Stephen Breyer was the culprit.
A mildly embarrassed Breyer quickly appeared to reach down to turn it off as a majority of his colleagues on the bench broke into smiles. Justice Samuel Alito struggled to suppress a laugh.
Cellphones and other electronic devices are strictly forbidden in the ornate courtroom - a rule that includes observers and lawyers arguing before the court, but apparently not the justices themselves.
Breyer and fellow Justice Clarence Thomas shared a quick laugh about the incident. But it didn't fluster lawyer Neal Katyal, who was in the middle of answering a question.
Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg later called the incident an "oversight" and said Breyer doesn't usually take his phone into the courtroom.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- In a region that takes food seriously, feral hogs are despised as destructive, but their rich, dark meat is winning fans among Louisiana chefs.
A small slaughterhouse is butchering the wild pigs , which cause the state $76 million-plus in annual damage, and selling sausage to grocery stores and meat to restaurants, where chefs are turning it into savory prosciutto, chorizo and meatballs.
"To me, it is the most interesting thing I have seen in years," said Rene Bajeux, executive chef for the Palace Cafe and three other Dickie Brennan & Co. restaurants in New Orleans. "It is good for everything - good for business, good for cooking, good for the ecology, good for everything. Those bad beasts are a good treat."
Springfield Slaughter House 's main business is butchering wild boar, which otherwise would be gobbling crops, competing with local wildlife and ripping up levees, fragile wetlands and other green spaces.
Feral hogs probably do more than $1.5 billion damage nationwide each year, according to the USDA, and the problem is only getting bigger: from 1982 to 2012, the invasive species spread from 17 states to 36.
Owner Charlie Munford got into the wild hog business in 2015. He'd been working with farmers, slaughterhouses and chefs to provide local beef, lamb, pork and goat to restaurants when he bought the slaughterhouse about 40 miles northwest of New Orleans in 2014.
Hunters have to bring the hogs, weighing in at 90 to 300 pounds, to Munford's slaughterhouse alive so they can be inspected before slaughtering. Munford estimates he's killed about 1,000 over the past year.
But one small slaughterhouse can take only a bite out of the estimated 600,000 feral swine in Louisiana: Authorities say 70 percent of the population would have to be killed each year just to keep the numbers from growing.
At his slaughterhouse, Munford first stayed with the traditional meats. Then he read about a program to slaughter feral hogs for commercial sale in Texas - about 461,000 between 2004 and 2009. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry was already considering a program similar to Texas' and helped Munford get started. Feral swine are now 90 percent of his business; the rest is domestic pork.
Wild boar saved the slaughterhouse after a plan to raise and sell grass-fed beef to a grocery chain fell through, he said.
"The restaurant demand for beef, lamb and domestic pork has declined. ... It would have been hard to stay in business without a major game-changer," Munford said.
Of the 19 state-inspected slaughterhouses, Springfield is the only one selling wild boar, although state officials say they've gotten inquiries from others that are interested.
Its wild boar line includes whole hogs and 20-pound boxes of primal cuts such as hams, shoulders and bellies for sale to restaurants. More than half the business is sausages, which are sold to grocery stores.
Customers include some top chefs. Bajeux makes about 80 pounds of wild boar bacon every week for weekend brunches and offers a variety of other dishes such as wild boar stew and chili. One recent day, his chillers held wild boar sausage and cold cuts including salami, coppa, and prosciutto-like speck.
Emeril's Delmonico makes wild boar meatballs served with caponata, chef de cuisine Anthony Scanio said. Like Bajeux, he also makes wild boar charcuterie, often used in specials.
Since these pigs have spent their lives running around in the open, this pork is not "the other white meat."
"The meat is much darker," Scanio said. "I think it tastes darker as well - iron, mineral notes. It's like game, essentially."
It's so much leaner than domestic pork that Munford's sausage is 30 percent wild pig and 70 percent farm-raised. "We don't want the sausage to be too lean or too gamy," he said.
At City Pork Brasserie and Bar in Baton Rouge, chef Ryan Andre likes the stronger flavor.
"It's kind of like a cross between pork and beef," Andre said. He cooks down a 70-pound hog weekly to make wild boar flautas, his top-selling appetizer.
The wild boar effort contrasts with one about 20 years ago to get nutria, an invasive rodent, on restaurant menus and grocery shelves. People love pork already, but the same cannot be said for nutria, which look a bit like rat-tailed beavers.
"That was a difficult sell," Scanio said.
Baton Rouge chef Philippe Parola, who was part of that campaign, puts much of the blame for its failure on federal inspection rules. He contends that the federal government must loosen rules requiring meat to be inspected both alive and dead to encourage more efforts to eat invasive mammals like feral hogs or nutria.
Munford said he applauds Parola's aim, but thinks there are excellent reasons for the live inspection.
"When something's dead out in the field and then transported in an unrefrigerated vehicle, it can go bad really quick. Especially in a hot climate," he said.
State officials hope to expand the slaughterhouse program as one more piece in a puzzle that also includes regular hunting - the beasts are "outlaw quadrupeds" that can be shot year-round during daylight shooting hours - and even paying to have hogs shot with machine guns from helicopters. They say they've gotten inquiries from other slaughterhouses, but none has signed up so far.

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SPRINGFIELD, Va. (AP) - A magician has been reunited with his pet bird after a Fairfax County police officer rescued it.
Police tell local news outlets they recently returned Sunny the cockatoo to Springfield magician Edgar Jorge Vidaurre, and the reunion has become popular on social media.
Officer Mike Thompson responded to the call and found the yellow-crested bright white bird 12 feet high in a tree. Thompson says he had to talk Sunny down as the 17-year-old bird's wings had been clipped after previous antics.
Vidaurre, aka Dr. Magic, says the cockatoo is his adopted baby and goes with him everywhere perched on his shoulder.
The magician says he had left Sunny on a tree branch while he played soccer and forgot to take the bird with him before leaving.

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PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island police officer charged with punching a 73-year-old casino bathroom attendant because "the water was too cold" is seeking to avoid prison.
The Providence Journal reports that 36-year-old Pawtucket officer Michael Tousignant was charged with assaulting an elderly person.
Authorities say Tousignant was off-duty at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut on April 1 when he complained to the attendant and then "smacked him."
He was charged by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Police Department.
Tousignant said during booking that he served in the military and had been with Pawtucket police for 10 years.
He applied for a court program that would let him avoid a criminal conviction and prison. It's unclear if he has an attorney.
Pawtucket police say Tousignant is on administrative duty and under investigation.

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MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) -- Some residents of a Connecticut neighborhood aren't receiving their mail at home anymore because a local dog is reportedly biting the mailmen.
A notice obtained by WVIT-TV from a local post office says that, due to repeated attacks on letter carriers by a local dog, the postal service will now only deliver mail in a Manchester neighborhood curbside or to the post office.
The letter explains that the move is needed so mailmen won't have to get out of their vehicles and risk a possible dog attack.
Manchester resident Michael Varni says he'll have to go to the post office to get his mail until he installs a mailbox on the side of the road.
Police say they have no knowledge of any incidents involving dog attacks in the neighborhood.

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